Jason Del Rey

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eBay Acquires Price-Forecasting Firm Decide.com

EBay said on Friday that it has acquired Decide.com, a Seattle-based price-forecasting startup that used predictive analytics to help consumers decide whether they should buy a product now or wait for the price to drop.

Decide.com CEO Mike Fridgen

Decide.com CEO Mike Fridgen

All 26 of Decide.com’s employees, except for co-founder and CTO Oren Etzioni, will be joining eBay’s new Bellevue, Wash., office. (Paul Allen recently named Etzioni head of a new artificial-intelligence institute.)

Decide.com will shut down at the end of September.

While Decide’s focus has been on providing pricing information to consumers, its engineers will now be tasked with building tools for sellers on eBay’s marketplace. Some tools will aim to help sellers price their items more competitively, and others may help them decide whether an auction is the best sale format for a given product, or whether they need to upgrade a product’s picture quality based on past selling patterns, eBay CTO Mark Carges said.

Decide.com CEO Mike Fridgen will continue to lead his same staff at eBay.

Decide.com had raised $16.5 million from Madrona, Vulcan Capital and Maveron, most recently receiving an $8 million Series C round in March.

The acquisition price was not disclosed, and eBay execs said it is not large enough to require disclosure in a SEC filing.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald