Internet auctioneer targets 7.5m users

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The Independent Online
THE INTERNET auctioneer said yesterday that it had signed a deal with Excite to offer its services to the Web portal's 7.5 million users across Europe, writes Stephen Foley. shares leapt to a record high on the news, rising by more than one-third to close at 670p, up 187.5p.

Under the agreement, Excite users in the UK, France, Germany and Italy will be able to access co-branded auction sites, allowing them to bid for items ranging from computer hardware to holidays. Richard Foster, e-commerce manager at Excite, said: "The Internet market is exploding, with auctions emerging as one of the most successful and popular features across the Internet today."

The agreement will be extended into other European countries as and Excite develop their sites on the Continent. Neither side disclosed how much paid for the distribution deal. Last month announced a similar tie-up with Internet service provider AOL.