eBay was born over Labor Day weekend in 1995, when Pierre Omidyar, a computer programmer, wrote the code for an auction website that he ran from his home computer.
Today, Omidyar's hobby is known as eBay, the world's largest online marketplace - where practically anyone can sell practically anything at any time. It's an idea that BusinessWeek once called "nothing less than a virtual, self-regulating global economy."
With a presence in 39 markets, including the U.S., and approximately 84 million active users worldwide, eBay has changed the face of Internet commerce. In 2007, the total value of sold items on eBay's trading platforms was nearly $60 billion. This means that eBay users worldwide trade more than $1,900 worth of goods on the site every second.
The benefit to consumers is clear: eBay provides an open trading platform where the market determines the value of items that are sold. Over the years, the site has become a cultural barometer of sorts, providing a view into what objects consumers want most at any time.
Since its initial public offering in 1998, the company has continued to innovate and connect people - and not just through its marketplaces. Two critical acquisitions have made eBay Inc. a global leader in online payments and communications as well.