Updated from 4:38 p.m. EST

Online auction site eBay ( EBAY) announced late Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire ticket-reselling site StubHub for approximately $310 million.

eBay will pay cash for the deal, which the company expects to close in the first quarter of 2007 and which is still pending regulatory approval.

The acquisition will allow eBay to expand its presence and products in the online tickets segment, the company said in a statement. eBay was on the verge of buying San Francisco-based StubHub in 2002 for $20 million before the deal fell apart because of a dispute on the price, Reuters reported earlier today.

Rumors about the closing of the deal circulated in media outlets earlier in the day, though both parties declined to confirm or deny the acquisition. This marks the second time in less than a month that an important step by eBay has been leaked to the press before it could be transmitted through official channels.

In December, reports that eBay would shutter its Web site in China in favor of being a minority partner with local player Tom Online surfaced before eBay made the announcement.

An eBay spokesman declined to comment on the rumor on that occasion as well. Both deals were announced shortly after speculation began to surface, however.

Shares of eBay gained 10 cents in extended trade after closing the regular session off 45 cents to $29.30.

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