Ebay to scrap its third-party advertising network amid wider shakeup

Ebay has announced plans to scrap its third-party advertising network amid a broader restructure of its operations.

As of May 1 Ebay’s Commerce Network, which allows its users to promote their products on websites other than Ebay, will no longer be available.

The online marketplace said it would be issuing refunds to anyone who had a balance remaining on their accounts, and pay out any publisher’s balances by June 1.

Ebay first launched its Commerce Network in 2013, after purchasing comparison shopping site Shopping.com in 2005 for $620 million and proceeding to rebrand it.

READ MORE: Ebay close to reaching deal which could force it to sell off its marketplace business

This was an effort to cash in on the growing adtech space, using Shopping.com’s established network of third-party sites.

Instead Ebay is now putting its efforts into its other advertising offerings like its partner network and its fast growing promoted listings ad formats, allowing sellers to pay for their items to top search results in a similar fashion to Amazon.

In the final quarter of last year Ebay’s promoted listings service saw 600,000 active sellers promote 200 million listings bringing in a revenue of $80 million, representing a near 150 per cent increase on the same period in 2017.

Across its business, Ebay made $600 million in ad revenues throughout 2018, which it aims to grow by two thirds in 2019.

In February, it was reported that Ebay was being pressured by investors, including activist investment firms Elliot Management and Starboard, to undergo a full strategic review.

According to sources close to the matter, the strategic review is likely to see it be forced to sell off its classified business Gumtree which it acquired in 2005, alongside its ticket selling platform StubHub, which it purchased for $310 million (£238 million) in 2007, in order to focus on its core operations.

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