The Internet auction house
said Monday that it had reached several new agreements to make its online auctions available over a variety of wireless devices, giving the company's ailing stock price a lift.
eBay said that its auctions would now be accessible on the
Sprint PCS Group's
wireless phone service and on systems operated by
and privately held
, which offer Internet service over a variety of hand-held wireless devices.
The rash of wireless deals announced Monday helped to lift shares of eBay significantly on a down day for many technology companies. eBay's stock gained 18, or 15%, to close at 136 3/16.
eBay, a forum for consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer auctions for everything from car parts to Cartier watches, said that the deals would greatly increase customers' access to its services.
"Our aim is to make eBay accessible from any Internet-enabled device, be that the coolest new personal digital assistant from
or the latest
cell phone, over the Sprint PCS nationwide wireless network or
," said Brian Swette, chief operating officer at eBay, in a statement.
The deals announced Monday add to a growing number of wireless providers with which eBay has been teaming up. The company has recently inked deals to appear on
AT&T Wireless Group's
newest digital phone services and on Palm's hand-held computers via
wireless Internet service.
eBay has also recently teamed with
to develop the specialized software that will transform eBay's web-site for use on wireless systems.
Several analysts were impressed by eBay's aggressive push to bring its auctions into the hands of wireless phone and device users.
"We view eBay's wireless strategy as a positive as it will help increase the ubiquity of the service and position it for other new technologies such as voice recognition," Anthony Noto, an analyst at
, said in a research report. eBay is on Goldman Sachs' recommended list, and Goldman has not done underwriting for eBay.
Other analysts were positive on eBay's marketshare advantage, along with the natural fit between auctions and wireless devices.
"We believe that online auctions are ideally suited to the wireless medium. eBay has introduced yet another innovation to secure its considerable lead over its competitors," said analysts at
Salomon Smith Barney
, who rate eBay a buy and have underwritten stock deals for the company.