Australian retailers have more to worry about than the lack of a 10% GST on overseas Internet purchases after EBay overnight purchased Milo.com, a company that uses technology to track retailer catalogues, compare prices and then direct consumers to whoever has the cheapest deal.E Bay the owner of the second-most visited e-commerce site, said that they aquired the shopping engine Milo.com to help it reach more consumers looking for products using PCs, tablets and mobile phones. These consumers will then be directed to retailers who have the lowest prices for the same products.
Milo.com helps consumers find items in stock at local stores and EBay will weave the technology into its existing marketplace and mobile applications, the company said.
Businessweek said that EBay Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe, who is halfway through a three-year turnaround campaign, is looking for ways to use the company’s $5.4 billion in cash to lure customers and narrow a growth gap with Amazon.com Inc., the e-commerce leader.
“Local commerce companies like Milo are blurring the lines between in-store and online shopping,” Mark Carges, a senior vice president at EBay, said in the statement.
Milo.com, founded in 2007, aggregates products from 140 merchants and about 50,000 stores in the U.S at the moment and could well be launched in Australia in the future.
On its website, Milo, which proudly embraces the “anti-Amazon” tag, says it helps “bricks-and-mortar retailers convert online browsers into in-store shoppers.” In October, eBay secured a partnership with Groupon, offering Groupon buyers kickbacks on eBay. Groupon, of course, is in talks to be acquired by Google.
In other shopping news, BlackBerry maker RIM is getting even more acronym-happy with its purchase of TAT, or The Astonishing Tribe, the Swedish user-interface designer behind the design of the first Android UI. Buying TAT is the latest move by Research in Motion in its attempt to compete with the rising popularity of rivals Apple, with its iPhone, and Android-based smartphones. The acquisition is being called small but brilliant, and a sexy move by the Canadian company, which recently announced a new OS and a new tablet. The PlayBook is scheduled to become available early next year.