eBay acquires Rent.com for $415MM; Monster.com next?

Michael Bazeley of SiliconBeat.com reports that eBay has agreed to buy Rent.com for $415MM; $385MM in eBay stock, $30MM cash. Wow!

With the acquisition of Rent.com, eBay is once again squaring off directly with the newspaper industry, most notably with Classified Ventures — a Joint Venture of Gannett, Tribune, Knight Ridder, Belo, McClatchy and The Washington Post — which runs Apartments.com, Cars.com and Homescape.

So let’s update our eBay vs. The Newspaper Industry scorecard. eBay has:

1) Gutted the ‘General Merchandise’ section of newspaper classified listings through its second-hand auction/direct-buy marketplace

2) Positioned eBay Motors against newspaper auto classifieds, and indirectly, Cars.com

3) Just bought Rent.com to compete with Apartments.com

And, perhaps most importantly, eBay managed to acquire 25% of Craigslist earlier this year, a disruptive (i.e., commoditizing) force in all of the aforementioned classified categories (and several more).

With eBay stock at nosebleed levels ($76.7B market cap, up ~80% this year), it seems like an opportune time for eBay to finish its assault by buying into the newspaper’s last classified “stronghold”, recruitment classifieds, through the purchase of Monster.com ($3.88B)…

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