OK, it isn’t Ebay, exactly, but Waterthread has a thread on IGE buying Yantis Enterprises: http://www.waterthread.org/news/107474916112769.html
Key paragraph from the press release:
Boca Raton, FL – January 22nd, 2004 – Internet Gaming Entertainment, Ltd. (“IGE”) (www.ige.com), the worldwide leader in the market for buying and selling virtual property used in multiplayer online games, announced today that it has agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of Yantis Enterprises, Inc. (www.mysupersales.com).
The deal involves both cash and equity in IGE’s parent company, IGE U.S. LLC (“IGE U.S.”), headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, according to Randy Maslow, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of IGE U.S.
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (“MMORPGs”) like EverQuest and Ultima Online are filled with virtual property — things like magic weapons, houses, in-game currency, and characters that are bought and sold on auction exchanges, with thousands of dollars trading hands every day. The total trade volume for virtual property is estimated by Professor Edward Castronova, professor of economics at Cal-State Fullerton, to exceed $400m annually, with an undetermined portion of that amount annually captured in real-world dollars by dealers in virtual currency and goods.