10-Q Watch: eBay Receives $145 Million Check for Rent.com

EBay has disclosed how much it made from the sale of its Rent.com subsidiary after closing the deal months ago.

According to a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission on Friday, proceeds from the sale of Rent.com totaled $145 million, which resulted in the online retailer recording a gain of $118 million.

Atlanta-based Primedia purchased the apartment listing service back in March.

EBay had previously said that Rent.com was instrumental in helping build its eBay Motors division, but now the division is better off with Primedia’s other properties, including ApartmentGuide.com, Rentals.com and RentalHouses.com. EBay originally acquired Rent.com seven years ago for $435 million in cash.

Coincidentally, eBay spent about the same amount of money that it made on the Rent.com sale on three acquisitions during the quarter. The company did not name the parties involved, but said two were for their marketplaces business, while a third was for PayPal. The total spent was $149 million, primarily in cash.

One of those acquisitions is likely Svpply, a social commerce site it disclosed buying earlier this month as part of its new homepage unveiling. In general, these acquisitions are drops in the bucket. Over the past two years, the company has spent billions on acquiring other companies, including roughly $3 billion on GSI, and several other smaller acquisitions, including Red Laser, Milo and Zong.

The purchases have helped transform the company from strictly a payments- and marketplaces-driven business to one that offers services to other retailers, like Toys “R” Us. In July, the company raised $3 billion in debt, but said it wasn’t expecting any “meaningful mergers and acquisitions activity in the near term.”

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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