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SANTA MONICA, CA-The Rent.com apartment rental service has agreed to be acquired by San Jose-based eBay Inc. for $415 million, combining two of the largest online companies in their fields. The two companies say the deal “will enable eBay to expand into a new segment of the online real estate market while allowing Rent.com to continue to scale its business with the resources and expertise of eBay.”

Rent.com, whose customers include apartment owners and managers throughout the country, was formed in 2001. Online auction eBay was established in 1995. Rent.com claims to be the most visited apartment listing website in the nation, citing figures from a November 2004 survey by comScore MediaMetrix. The company’s latest tally shows that it lists 18,212 properties comprising more than four million sf in rental units nationwide Rent.com says it is profitable and expects revenues in 2004 to total more than $40 million.

The eBay-Rent.com agreement provides for eBay to acquire all outstanding securities of Rent.com for $415-million-plus acquisition costs, net of Rent.com’s cash on hand, to be paid with approximately $385 million in eBay common stock and $30 million in cash. The deal, subject to customary regulatory approvals and approval of Rent.com’s stockholders, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2005.

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