EBay Acquires Mobile App Developer Critical Path

EBay has acquired Critical Path Software, the developer that has built some of eBay’s most popular mobile applications.

Portland, Ore.-based Critical Path has helped develop eBay for iPhone, and other iPhone applications, such as StubHub, eBay Classifieds and Shopping.com. The purchase is evidence of eBay’s commitment to the mobile space, and likely indicates how difficult it is to hire mobile developers outside of an acquisition.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

EBay’s core iPhone app has been downloaded more than 14 million times since it launched in 2008. On Monday, eBay said the biggest shopping day on mobile phones of the holiday season occurred last Sunday, Dec.12. In the U.S., mobile gross merchandise volume (GMV) hit $5 million, a 127 percent increase over the same day a year ago. In fact, shopping peaked between 1 pm and 4 pm EST, with more than 9,500 transactions being made per hour.

The acquisition of Critical Path comes closely on the tails of a similar purchase. On Dec. 2, eBay acquired Milo as a way to add a physical presence to its e-commerce strategy. Milo’s database of products from 50,000 U.S. retail stores, like Best Buy, Sears and Target, has already been integrated into eBay’s RedLaser mobile application to help users find products in stores close by.

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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