Another hurdle has today been cleared in Adevinta's proposed purchase of eBay's classifieds division. Adevinta today released a statement confirming that the UK's Competiton and Markets Authority has approved the deal on the condition that Adevinta divests from marketplace site Shpock and that eBay does likewise from Gumtree UK and auto portal Motors.co.uk.
Having been announced in July 2020, the $9.2 billion deal is yet to go through largely because of roadblocks from competition authorities in European countries. After clearing hurdles in Germany, February saw the deal held up by British authorities worried that a merger between Adevinta and eBay Classifieds, under the terms of which eBay would retain equity in Adevinta, would lead to a lack of competition in the market.
The CMA’s concern is that Shpock (an Adevinta marketplace launched in 2012), Gumtree and eBay would be controlled by the same interest leaving only Facebook Marketplace as real competition thus leaving British consumers at a disadvantage.
Today's missive from Adevinta also confirmed that it has agreed to sell Shpock to international media firm Russmedia for an undisclosed sum. That transaction is expected to be closed today, thereby leaving only Austria - where eBay Classifieds does not operate any direct competitor to Adevinta - to tick-off before the deal can be closed. The statement from Adevinta said that it expects to get the deal over the line, after nearly a year, in Q2.
Adevinta's share price has risen in recent weeks in anticipation of the deal's completion with shares now trading at around 162 Norwegian Krone, only slightly down from their highest point in October when each share was worth NOK 175.