StumbleUpon, a browsing application which recommends websites to its users, is rumoured to be an acquisition target for online auction behemoth eBay.

According to TechCrunch, an unnamed source says that StumbleUpon will be acquired for between $40m and $75m (£20m-£37m).  

StumbleUpon, a Canadian company, combines a search algorithm and its users’ recommendations to help users discover new sites. On its site, the company claims it has 2.1m users. It recently launched a video service.

Figures from comScore indicate that StumbleUpon has seen a sharp rise n traffic recently, with unique visitor figures increasing from 500,000 in January to 900,000 in March.

As for the reasons for the acquisition, Om Malik speculates that the deal would give eBay a way of getting around Google’s dominance of search, and provide the auction site with a wealth of useful information on users’ browsing habits.

Meanwhile, Google has launched its own version of StumbleUpon, adding a dice icon to its toolbar, which will allow users to browse the web without entering a search term.  

The new application will take information from users’ search history to recommend websites which may appeal to them.