European online auctioneer QXL.com PLC announced yesterday that it has signed a deal with AOL Germany to become the premium partner of the online service provider.
To exploit the entertainment value of auctions, QXL.com said that it will also manage editorial features such as ‘Deal of the Day’ on various AOL Germany pages to promote the online auction site’s best deals.
AOL Germany will deliver 75 million page impressions over the duration of the contract.
Will Accelerate Growth
The agreement also gives QXL.com a high profile presence on AOL Germany’s homepage, with key positions on AOL Germany’s Shopping, Travel, Computer and Internet pages. In addition, AOL Germany will highlight joint auctions in their newsletters.
“This agreement will allow QXL to accelerate its growth by delivering a high quality service to over one million AOL Germany users. It reinforces our positioning as a mainstream service for German users seeking quality products at the best possible price and in an entertaining format,” said M. Schmidt-Pfitzner, CEO of QXL GmbH.
QXL.com already has a number of partnerships with AOL brands across Europe. Both the QXL services in the UK and France have similar premium partner deals with AOL UK and AOL France.
“As a world-wide pioneer in creating premium advertising fields and mutually profitable e-commerce partnerships, AOL is a first choice for these cooperations,” said Uwe Heddendorp, managing director of AOL Germany.
Competition Heating Up
Industry observers feel that this foray into the German market is just the opening gamut in a battle for the European online auction market.
Other heavyweight players, such as international media giant Bertlesmann and number one online auction house eBay are expected to participate, as the number of Europeans coming online grows exponentially.
Registered Users Growing
Meanwhile, QXL.com also announced that its registered user figures grew to more than 246,000 by the end of its second quarter — up a whopping 84 percent from its first quarter.
Additionally, the company said that membership numbers grew 126 percent to 130,000, and the number of items listed on the auction site skyrocketed 143 percent to 871,000.
Based in London, QXL.com (Nasdaq:QXLC) Web sites offer auctions in five languages in 16 European countries. More than 130,000 members can bid on items from other members or those offered by QXL.com, which resells merchandise bought from manufacturers.
Timothy Jackson, who founded the company in 1997, owns about 17 percent of QXL.com. Apax Funds owns nearly 18 percent.
Stockholders reacted positively to yesterday’s announcements. QXL.com’s stock closed up 5 3/4 per share at 29 3/4. Its 52-week high is $30 (US$), and its 52-week low is $14.