EBay Closing Half.com Next Year

Auction site eBay Inc. next year will close Half.com, a fixed-price seller of used books, CDs and videos that once was considered a competitor to Amazon.com.

Plans being considered include merging Half.com with the eBay site. EBay hopes to sway Half.com sellers to migrate as the smaller site closes.

The Philadelphia-area online retailer was acquired in June 2000 for $241 million in eBay stock. Since then, many Half.com features have been incorporated on eBay, San Jose, CA.

According to company data, eBay merchants last year sold $1.2 billion in entertainment products. A large chunk of those sales was on eBay. More than one-fifth of eBay's total sales are now in the fixed-price format.

Half.com founder/president Josh Kopelman will resign April 15. Mike Aufricht, a former senior executive at wireless software developer Avantgo, will succeed him. Half.com's staff of 65 will be offered the option to move to other eBay divisions or accept severance packages.

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