Yahoo brings hammer down on US auctions

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Yahoo brings hammer down on US auctions

Company plans to shut down little-used service in North America.

Yahoo is to shut its Yahoo Auctions site in the US and Canada. The service will remain online in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. 

The closure will begin on 3 June when sellers will be given their final opportunity to list an item for auction. All auctions will close for bids on 16 June, and users will be able to view account information on the site until 29 October.

"This is not surprising given Yahoo's advertising relationship with eBay, and eBay's massive dominance of the auction category," said LeeAnn Prescott, research director at Hitwise. 

Prescott noted that Yahoo Auctions claimed less than 0.2 percent of the online auction market in the US, while eBay's top two sites alone claimed nearly 94 percent of all traffic.

Yahoo has been looking to cut costs and narrow its focus in recent months. The company has been losing ground to arch-rival Google and has been trying to consolidate its operations, which one vice president likened to "peanut butter spread thinly on bread".  

The move comes less than a week after Yahoo announced that it will be shutting down its photo service and transferring users to Flickr. 

Yahoo warned users to be vigilant for scams over the last days of the auction service. The company advised users to know who they are dealing with and to carefully study terms of sale and payment options before bidding on an item.
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