eBay Buys Where.com for Hyper-Local Deal Offers

In the race to become a leader in the local deal market – companies seem to be tripping over one another. This includes Google who is working organically while making an unsuccessful bid for Groupon. Twitter and Facebook play in this market as well and eBay just acquired Where.com, a Boston-based local-deals and location-based services company for $135M.

PayPal’s Amanda Pires explains they plan to integrate PayPal into the WHERE mobile app to make it even easier for customers to take advantage of the local deals. She goes on to say:

Mobile and local are key areas for us.  This announcement builds on the acquisition of Milo late last year, bringing even more great deals and value to consumers. Since we don’t compete with our merchants, we are in a unique position to partner with retailers of all sizes and help people shop and pay anytime, anywhere and in any way they want.

Last September, TMCnet reported Where.com purchased LocalGinger for its local group-buying strength in secondary markets.

Now we’ll get to see just how much local couponing and offers the public can take. Will the market replicate what is happening with news – meaning real-time offers and alerts will flash across your devices as often as news alerts pop up on you devices? Well, my devices anyway. Will this be too much for consumers to take or will local deal subsidization of devices and wireless make consumers more tolerant of this trend?

Moreover, as PayPal is becoming such a driver of value for eBay with new business units and acquisitions being rolled into it – will we see eBay spin out PayPal at some point? It seems to make sense as the company in some ways is weighed down by its parent and may return more shareholder value as a smaller standalone company which can become an ecommerce giant.

This is a smart move for eBay and now the hard part – integration is ahead of them. Hopefully this time they’ll do a much better job than they did with Skype.

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