Amazon.com takes 1.7% stake in Sotheby's
Thursday 17 June 1999
The deal reflects the transformation of the auction business. It has become increasingly apparent that selling art through cyberspace is here for good.
The change has been driven in particular by the wild success of the online auction company, eBay. Notwithstanding a nasty blip last Friday when its website crashed, eBay has risen meteorically. It has democratised the auction business, allowing anyone to sell and buy anything from an antique bicycle to a South Pacific tribal headdress.
In recent months Sotheby's, its arch-rival Christie's and Amazon itself have all set up auction websites. By linking up with Sotheby's and taking on some of its gloss, Amazon clearly hopes to close the gap on eBay. "Who better to help than Sotheby's?" Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, asked.
Under a 10-year agreement signed yesterday, Amazon and Sotheby's will set up a joint auction site of their own to be called sothebys.amazon.com, which should be up and running before the end of the year. Both firms say their existing auction websites will remain in operation.
The new site will be distinct in one important way. Goods for sale - from art, antiques, Hollywood memorabilia and coins - will be offered exclusively by Sotheby's itself and a group of selected dealers. They will also be guaranteed by Sotheby's.
Shares in both companies rose strongly yesterday. Amazon agreed to buy 1 million shares of Sotheby's Holdings class A common stock at $35.44 per share and also to buy, for $10m, three-year warrants to buy an extra 1 million shares at $100 per share.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...