eBay is buying StubHub, the San Francisco sports, music and theater tickets reseller for $310m. It gets a rebate though - StubHub brings with it a dowry of $25m in net cash.
StubHub has created an online after-market for events tickets, which turns over around $400m a year in ticket sales, from which it clips $10m in profits, according to reports. It describes itself as the "fan's ticket marketplace", where buyers and sellers trade tickets at "fair market value...even to those (events) that are 'sold out.'"
Looking at the site, it is clear that a lot of the activity on the selling side is generated by professional ticketing organisations. In some countries this would be called scalping or touting and would be considered illegal. But obviously not in America.
According to Reuters, eBay tried to buy StubHub once before, in 2002, but the two fell out over the purchase price, said to be $20m.
Oh well. eBay is buying a much bigger company this time around and it has a new platform for PayPal to play with. ®