The story that the AuctionBytes Blog broke yesterday was confirmed by eBay today: it will close its Live Auctions platform, eBay announced today.
eBay said that maintaining and improving the Live Auctions platform falls outside of its immediate focus and will be retired on December 31, 2008. "We need to make sure our resources are aligned with our priorities," the post read.
Note that the closing of eBay Live Auctions does not affect auction listings on eBay.com.
eBay said its decision will "represent a significant change" for the small number of partners, buyers, and sellers involved with Live Auctions. Two such companies are LiveAuctioneers and Ableauctions' iCollector.com subsidiary, which work directly with the live auction houses.
According to sources, LiveAuctioneers has been developing its own bidding platform and reportedly promised clients a seamless changeover.
Ableauctions, a public company, issued a press release stating that iCollector.com currently derives approximately $700,000 in annual revenue (or 14% of the Company’s total revenues) from auctions broadcast on the eBay Live Auctions platform. "eBay's decision to wind down eBay Live Auctions may provide the Company with an opportunity to expand its NAALive operations, although there is no certainty that this will occur. The Company currently offers an alternative to auctioneers to the eBay Live Auctions platform with its proprietary live auction bidding software through NAALive.com."