A few weeks back I suggested that eBay or Knight-Ridder may be concerned about the way Craigslist is eating small ads. Last Friday eBay bought 25% of Craigslist. So my “prediction” was in some ways correct. Interesting deal though. Craigslist is basically an anarcho-syndaclist commune posing as a small privately-held company, and they have made only a very little attempt to cash in on their success (the only charges are for job ads in SF, and NYC). So in a sense it’s a success story of the old Internet strategy of “get the eyeballs then ramp up the prices,” without ramping up the prices much–although my sources there tell me that they get so swamped with New York apartment brokers that they might be next ones to get a bill! The deal came about because a partner and minority owner no longer working there wanted to cash out, and rather than get a new minority owner who they didn’t like, the management team basically steered the deal to the (hopefully well-behaved!) eBay. BTW Happy birthday Jim, and thanks Susan.
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