EBay Adds to E-Commerce Portfolio, Acquires Zong
Adding to its string of e-commerce acquisitions this year, eBay (news, site) has purchased Zong, a mobile payments vendor, for US$ 240 million. 

What is Zong?

Zong specializes in mobile payments, or the ability to pay for things via a mobile phone and have it show up on the mobile phone bill. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company has relationships with 250 mobile carriers around the world, giving it access to 3.2 billion mobile phone users.

But there's more to it than that, the Journal said. Zong also gives eBay an opening into the world of virtual currency used by online games, such as those produced by the soon-to-IPO Zynga.

It all comes down to big money. The Journal quoted Yankee Group as saying that global mobile transactions will grow from US$ 241 billion in 2011 to more than US$ 1 trillion by 2015, while Bloomberg cited ThinkEquity LLC, a San Francisco-based research firm, as saying that the worldwide virtual-goods market is expected to more than double to US$ 20.3 billion in 2014, from US$ 9.28 billion last year.

What's It Mean for eBay

For eBay, it's another in a whole string of e-commerce acquisitions, including Magento, PayPal, GSI, RedLaser, Milo, WHERE and Fig Card.

The purpose? To put together a developer platform called X.Commerce, the company's recently created integrated open commerce platform group. The company has been pretty quiet about just what that consists of, but said more details will be shared with developers during the X.Commerce Innovate conference -- what used to be the PayPal Developers Conference -- on Oct.12-13 in San Francisco.