Woof: EBay Is Winning Bidder for Milo

EBay has acquired Milo as a way to add a physical presence to its e-commerce strategy. Milo’s extensive database of products from 50,000 U.S. retail stores, like Best Buy, Sears and Target, will be integrated into the e-commerce giant’s search results to provide local shopping alternatives.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but both TechCrunch and Business Insider peg the price tag at around $75 million in cash.

Analysts have been critical of eBay’s ability to turn its marketplaces unit around as it struggles to maintain its lead against others like Amazon and Google.

The purchase of Milo will help eBay bridge the gap between online shopping and brick-and-mortar locations. Milo’s database will be integrated into RedLaser, a mobile phone app eBay bought earlier this year that allows consumers to check prices in physical stores by scanning a bar code. Likewise, Milo’s sale to eBay will help give it some additional backing as it faces competition from Google, which in March launched the ability to check stock at nearby stores from smartphone devices.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work