Rough Crossing For E Bay

Starting up in Europe, the auction site runs into plenty of cultural roadblocks

Lucky for Pierre Omidyar that he was living in Silicon Valley when he got the idea for eBay. If Omidyar's family had stayed in France, his idea never would have gotten off the ground. It's not a lack of venture capital or Internet audience that would have stymied him. It's the law. Under French regulations, only a few certified auctioneers are allowed to operate. eBay hasn't even opened for business in its founder's homeland.

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