eBay has acquired RedLaser, a barcode scanning app for the iPhone, and related technology from RedLaser’s parent company, Occipital. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
RedLaser scans a product’s barcode and then uses the information for comparison shopping and finding product information. It has been downloaded more than 2 million times from the App Store, making it the top-selling iPhone barcode-scanning app. In its announcement of the deal, eBay said it would immediately drop the fee for RedLaser and make it a free standalone application.
eBay plans to incorporate RedLaser’s barcode-scanning technology into its iPhone apps, including eBay Marketplace, eBay Selling and StubHub. More than 200 million eBay listings into the app and product inventory from more than 7,000 global merchants on Shopping.com also will be integrated into the app.
As part of its expansion of the technology, eBay said it plans on increasing developer support of the RedLaser technology in the future. The technology behind the app is used in several different areas, including grocery shopping lists, gift registries and nutritional tracking.
Mark Carges, eBay’s chief technology officer and senior vice president of global products, said the acquisition would make mobile shopping easier for consumers.
“With RedLaser’s innovative technology, eBay is continuing to help shoppers quickly find the best deals online, and eBay sellers will be able to list their items faster,” Carges said.
A mobile purchase is made every two seconds via eBay’s mobile applications, which first launched on the iPhone in July 2008. eBay’s core iPhone application, which is available free through iTunes in eight languages and 190 countries, has been downloaded more than 10 million times and allows users to browse and buy items on eBay without leaving the application.
In 2009, eBay says its mobile merchandise volume, the value of all goods sold, was more than $600 million. The company expects to generate $1.5 billion in merchandise volume through mobile commerce in 2010.
eBay also has a presence in the mobile payments space through its PayPal subsidiary. PayPal first launched mobile payments in 2005 and now has apps for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry platforms as well as SMS and WAP-based payments solutions. In 2009, $141 million in payments were transacted over PayPal’s mobile applications.