Breaking News! eBay Acquires Magento!

Breaking News! eBay Acquires Magento!

I guess that the word is already spread. eBay Acquires Magento and Launches Open-Commerce Brand, X.Commerce. Since eBay and Magento have partnership for quite some time, I believe that this acquisition is not a huge surprise. Roy is happy. Yoav is happy. This seems to be a great thing for Magento Inc. I’ll ask a selfish question: “What does it mean to the companies like ours and what the hell is X.Commerce?”

The topic of this mail is to get some insight into X.Commerce. According to Magento’s official acquisition statement, we are finding out that eBay is building a global, open commerce platform that leverages the worldwide developer community. Alright, I don’t know what this means, but let’s continue.

Magento will be at the core of X.Commerce and they’ll be collaborating with their eBay colleagues on developing the X.Commerce platform and defining the next generation of eCommerce innovation. Further research tells us that eBay plans to operate Magento’s ecommerce platform separately while they look at additional ways to fully integrate Magento into eBay Inc.’s X.Commerce platform, following the closing. More details can be read at official FAQ.

I must say I have mixed feelings. From what I encountered, I don’t believe Magento and X.Commerce can coexist. It is too early to say what will this acquisition bring to our lives and whether the change will be positive or negative. It is for sure that something will change. As is said in Red Alert 1 intro: “Time will tell! Sooner or later, time will tell.” We love Magento and we love the team behind it. Some of us had a chance to meet some of them. At the time of this writing, one of the teams is in Ibiza on Magento Developers Paradise. We really hope that Magento’s wonderful story will not be lost and that eBay guys (especially Matthew Mengerink) have similar mindset. Judging the situation from other part of the world is quite difficult. Let’s hope for the best outcome.

Let’s now see what Roy and Yoav said about this event:

EDIT: Adding the video from John Donahoe, CEO, eBay Inc. which adds a few bits to the story:

What are your thoughts of this acquisition?

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  1. So, in a major revisit to X.Commerce, has anything come of this or was it for the most part like all the promised Magento ERP connectors, just vaporware.

  2. Think of it like this. All the buzz words like “open”, “thriving”, “ecosystem” (thats a funny one…stay greeen!!!–perception, perception), “everyone”, “success”. All peachy, all neato. But here’s what’s simply happening —

    They have a car. Specifically a Model-T (Henry Ford). Henry Ford hired assembly line workers to build that car at a fair wage. He poured money into R and D for the future of the Model-T and its successors. MAgento is the Model-T of its era. It’s basic (as compared to 20 years from now), it’s slow, it doesn’t handle that great. But guess who’s going to help turn that model T into a Ferrari? Not highly paid engineers. Not multimillion dollar investments into technology. You. You and 10’s of thousands of others like you. And because it’s “open”, “Free” and all the other nifty things, “you” , the world, will be creating that Ferrari for free, all while Ebay/Magento collect the monthly payments for the car you effectively have created. The potential of unheardof profits on this is staggering. Except most of its real contributers, “you”. The people that send massive amounts of feedback, the people the basically design the car, get….nothing. You get an orange t-shirt and a ornage badge at the end of the day. Maybe a free year if you decide to re-sell your own extension on your own Magento site.


  3. Now they have announced the x.commerce conference things might get clearer. But really Magento is dead as an open source solution. It went commercial ages ago leaving the community editon full of bugs.

    By comparison there is the osCommerce – still the best option for building a custom eCommerce solution and new comers like Prestashop trying to be all things to all people.

    I prefer osCommerce because it is lean and stable and I can build anything with it. Others want solutions like Pretashop that offer every possibly variation you can think of. Just different philosophies on what is best in terms of technology and speed.

  4. My only real thoughts are… is this going to effect the business of those who build modules, service and develop Magento builds.

    If nobody new comes along with a community edition (as this is where the majority of people go), business will begin to stagnate and alternative solutions for e-commerce will need to be found and developed and their clientele brought with, leaving Magento in the dust.

  5. As a small business that has performed very well with the community edition for the last 3 years (despite the occasional upgrade nightmare) I’d really like to think that they continue to offer a totally free open source non-cloud based platform. I think the community deserves that much and they should step forward and announce that “Yes we will have a totally open-source version of the platform, that won’t require monthly fees and and additional commissions on sales” Let’s face it eBay take a large percentage of a sale and also make additional funds on the PayPal transaction fees, it worries me that they will force us all into a cloud based platform and slowly take our control away.

    Magento has been a platform that has allowed people with patience and drive to move forward with their online business and take a step up from their competitors in terms of SEO and marketing opportunities, I fear a future where eBay take a cloud based platform and dumbs it down for the mass market and totally dilutes its effectiveness. If everyone has the same platform and SEO then sales will come down to who can sell an item for the cheapest amount dispite the service and quality of the goods, just like millions of eBay sellers do.

  6. Not a good news at all. I just have a bad feeling about this. Magento’s hard work over the years might get destroyed by eBay! Or maybe not! It is a gamble.

  7. I’m not sure how to take this announcement. On one hand, Magento now has all the backing it needs to make sure it doesn’t fail in the long term. On the other hand, eBay has been known for some flamboyant failures in the past. Let’s hope they let Magento fly by itself.

  8. This just rings of trouble, a few developers will do well from it but the actual people using this service for their business are going to suffer in the long term, ebay will need to recoup all of these costs so look forward to high monthly subscriptions and percentage fees.

    I am moving away from magento thats for sure.

  9. @MageRage:”Who’s going to step up?”

    Well, there’s already a major contender, and that’s Prestashop. They also have a full-time team working on their project, are active in development and recruitment, and are adding new features almost on a monthly basis.

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