Online auction giant eBay has acquired StubHub, an internet tickets marketplace, which deals in tickets for sports and entertainment events. The deal is worth $310 million.

Launched in 2000 and based in San Francisco, StubHub’s site managed $400m (£206m) in ticket sales site last year, earning a profit of around $10m (£5m). The secondary ticket market in the US is estimated to have a turnover of $10bn per year.

StubHub sells a range of tickets on its site at fixed prices, frequently at far more than their face value. It makes money by charging 25% in fees and commissions on all sales. 

The tickets sold on the site are genuine, with StubHub offering a money-back guarantee to ensure that buyers are not cheated.

This seems to be a sensible acquisition for eBay, as StubHub relates directly to the company’s core business, and will bolster eBay’s already sizeable share of the ticket resale market.

According to eBay North America president Bill Cobb:

“StubHub has been extremely successful in the online tickets segment, and it’s a perfect complement to eBay’s tickets business. Together we can strengthen both businesses and provide fans with more choice and better service.”

Back in 2002, eBay had offered to buy the company for $20m, but talks broke down. The deal also represents a win for Pequot Ventures, which invested around $25m in the company in 2005.

Eric Baker, formerly of StubHub, recently set up a UK secondary ticket website for entertainment and sports events, Viagogo.com.

Further Reading:
Ebay launches new UK shopping service
Rise in profits announced by eBay