EBay buys mobile software developer Critical Path

Critical Path helped build eBay's mobile app and subsequent updates to the product

EBay will boost its mobile development capabilities with the acquisition of Critical Path Software, announced on Wednesday.

Critical Path is a Portland, Oregon, software development company that builds applications for mobile phones and desktops. It works on a variety of projects including porting games to platforms including Xbox, Mac, Palm, Windows and Windows Mobile.

Critical Path has worked for eBay dating back to 2008, when it helped build the eBay Mobile application for the iPhone. It has developed a handful of updates to the app since then.

The companies did not disclose details of the acquisition.

In a statement, eBay said that it plans to integrate the Critical Path team into eBay with the aim of making shopping and selling anywhere and anytime a better experience.

EBay has been talking about continuing to improve its mobile experience, an effort that appears to be paying off. In 2009, eBay customers bought US$600 million worth of products from their phones, the company has said.

Earlier this year, eBay started building applications that cater to people interested in certain categories, launching one for fashion with plans to release apps specifically for buying sporting equipment, collectables and cars.

It also has apps for Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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