eBay will take its affiliate ad network in-house starting next month, dumping ValueClick’s (VCLK) Commission Junction platform, which has powered the network for years. Why? eBay says the move will give its 100,000 affiliates more access to money-making opportunities across its various platforms, like Half.com. eBay will presumably save some money, too.
Will other big firms follow — pulling business from Commission Junction and rivals like Google’s (GOOG) Performics and Rokuten’s LinkShare?
It’s possible — Amazon (AMZN) has successflly run its own affiliate network since 1996 — but we don’t see a trend in the making. Most companies are better off focusing on their core business than a commodity like affiliate marketing. Even massive eBay is keeping Commission Junction around to power affiliate ads for its eBay Tradera, ProStores, Media Marketplace, eBay Stores, and StubHub accounts — and it will continue to use ValueClick’s ad serving and tracking infrastructure.