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Sothebys Confirms Teaming With eBay To Offer High-End Art

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Sothebys (NYSE: BID) confirmed a report that it will offer an online auction platform in partnership with eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY).

Shares of the fine art auctioneer opened sharply higher Monday after the story was leaked to the New York Times. Sothebys traded recently at $39.99, up 0.76 percent.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Sothebys said the platform will focus on jewelry, watches, prints, wine, photographs and 20th Century design "at price points were collectors will converge."

The global art market is currently estimated around $65 billion, with online sales far below other luxury goods. Projections suggest online art sales could reach $13 billion by 2020.

Sothebys said online bidders competed for 17 percent of the total lots offered in 2013 and a new online Sotheby's record was hit in April with the $3.5 million purchase of a John James Audubon Birds of America portfolio.

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