Rumours abound that Auctiva, a company best known for the free auction management service of the same name, has acquired sniping software Auction Sentry.
Although there is no connection to Auctiva declared on the Auction Sentry website, Auction Sentry users have reported that their renewal payments go to Auctiva's PayPal account. Indeed, clicking the "Purchase" button on the Auction Sentry website leads to a PayPal page clearly stating "PayPal securely processes payments for Auctiva". The new Auction Sentry forum and reviews on this web site also claim that Auctiva has acquired the sniping tool.
Why would an auction management solutions provider acquire a sniping tool? There is no obvious answer to that. Auctiva has been in the eBay tools market for many years but came to new prominence since the launch of their free service. They acquired Sellathon - a company that logs and analyzes eBay auction visits - quietly in January 2007.
As an eBay Certified Solution Provider, running a sniping service could put Auctiva in a difficult position. Sniping tools cannot use eBay's official interface so must use "page-scraping" to access the site, which is technically prohibited by the eBay User Agreement but normally tolerated by eBay.