One of the more interesting details of an otherwise regular earnings report was eBay 's admission that it is attracting fewer listings to the action site. Would-be auctioneers posted a total of 559 million listings in the second quarter of this year, 6 per cent lower than the 596 million listings posted in the same period last year.

Yet eBay is still raking in the profit, with an increase of 50 per cent on the same period last year. Revenue was reported as being $376m (£183.2 million) up from the previous $250 million (£121.8 million).

"The quarter was a very good one for the company, as our portfolio of businesses continued to deliver value to our global community," said eBay President and CEO, Meg Whitman. "Providing a great user experience has always been critical to our success and will remain part of our ongoing focus as we expand the business further."

eBay said it was pleased with its other assets, citing the "exceptional" earnings of PayPal, up 34 per cent and the addition of double the revenue from online call provider Skype.

Yahoo yesterday unveiled its results, which show the company is further slipping behind its rivals. Talking tough after a sixth successive quarterly profits fall, head Jerry Yang said he was to spend the next 100 days "mapping out a strategic plan."