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EBay to buy Boston software firm

By D.C. Denison
Globe Staff / April 21, 2011

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Where Inc., a Boston company that makes location software for smartphones, agreed yesterday to be purchased by eBay Inc., the online auction site and retailer.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but in a news release California-based eBay said it intends to use Where to bolster its PayPal unit, which processes online payments. Where’s software, which helps mobile phone users find retail business such as shops and restaurants, will allow PayPal to extend and enhance its services to merchants, the company said.

Where, which was founded in 2004, has recently focused its efforts on local mobile commerce and advertising, a sector that has been bolstered by hot start-ups like the online coupon service Groupon.

In a blog post yesterday, Amanda Pires, PayPal’s senior director of global communications, brand, and experiential marketing, said, “Local commerce companies like Where are blurring the lines between in-store and online shopping.’’ She added that eBay’s first step will be to integrate PayPal into the Where app so users can pay for local offers.