WSJ Report: Intercontinental Exchange Makes Offer for eBay Core Marketplace


The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has made a takeover offer for the eBay core marketplace.

ICE owns exchanges for financial and commodity markets and operates 12 regulated exchanges and marketplaces including the New York Stock Exchange.

The WSJ story claims there are no formal talks between ICE and eBay and that ICE had made approaches in the past to take over eBay.

However, what makes this story interesting is that ICE apparently is only interested in the core marketplace and not the classifieds group.

Today, Starboard Value LP delivered a letter to eBay’s board placing more pressure on eBay to sell the classifieds group and focus on its core marketplace.

It is believed according to “people familiar with the matter” the core marketplace has a value of about $30 billion and the classifieds unit could grab about 10 billion in a sale.

According to the WSJ article, “ICE may see an opening to apply its technological expertise connecting buyers and sellers to eBay’s core e-commerce site covering everything from electronics to collectibles.”

eBay has commented on the Starboard Value LP letter today but has not released a comment on the WSJ story.

What do you think about these two developments about the possible future of eBay?

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