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eBay to conduct online art auctions for Sotheby's

The partnership comes as many collectors are purchasing high-end items online and even on their phones.
By Ananth Baliga   |   July 14, 2014 at 1:34 PM

NEW YORK, July 14 (UPI) -- Sotheby's will team up with auction site eBay to conduct art auctions for collectors to bid on art, collectibles and antiques via livestream.

eBay said Monday that it was building an online platform where Sotheby's will be the main client and will include a new live auction feature that will live stream auctions and enable bidders to participate in real-time bidding.

"The growth of the art market, new generation technology and our shared strengths make this the right time for this exciting new online opportunity," said Bruno Vinciguerra, Sotheby's chief operating officer, in a statement. "We are joining with eBay to make our sales more accessible to the broadest possible audience around the world."

The online auctions will first be conducted at Sotheby's headquarters in New York before being hosted at other locations. Sotheby's said that the online expansion will enable bidders from around the world to participate in their auctions.

The move to shift online auctions comes as 17 percent of Sotheby's sales were conducted online last year, registering a 36 percent increase over the previous year, Currently the auction market is worth $65 billion with estimates suggesting that online sales will account for $13 billion by 2020.

Sotheby's hasn't given an official launch date for the the new feature but said that it will be introduced later this year or early next year.

Follow @antbaliga and @UPI on Twitter.
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