Mozilla Corporation Collaborating with eBay in France, Germany and the UK

Saturday March 31st, 2007

The Mozilla Corporation and eBay International have announced a Mozilla Firefox partnership to "improve the online auction experience for people in France, Germany and the United Kingdom". According to the press release, "Mozilla and eBay are collaborating on new technology and approaches to enable eBay users to stay up to date with their auctions more easily from within Firefox regardless of where they are on the Web."

No more specific information has been released but further details are promised in the second quarter of this year. However, an extension that allows users to track eBay auctions from within Firefox seems a likely possibility. It is unclear whether the Mozilla-eBay partnership might be extended globally if the collaboration in France, Germany and the UK is a success.

If the partnership does lead to an extension, this will not be the first time that a vendor has added auction tracking features to a browser. Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5 for Mac included an Auction Manager, which let users watch online auctions and receive notifications when they were outbid. While welcomed by auction enthusiasts, the inclusion of such a niche feature in a stock browser install bemused some commentators and the Auction Manager never made it to the Windows version of Internet Explorer.

The Mozilla Corporation has increasingly begun to explore partnerships with commercial online services in recent months. Last year, Mozilla partnered with Google/Nike's online soccer community to develop the Companion, allowing soccer fans to stay up-to-date with the 2006 World Cup. Last month, Mozilla joined with Eastman Kodak to release the Firefox Companion for Kodak EasyShare Gallery, which makes it easy for users to upload photos to Kodak EasyShare Gallery (formerly Ofoto) and other online photo services. For the latter project, Mozilla came to an agreement with Kodak to rebrand the existing Fotofox extension.