Wednesday July 10, 2002

Mattel wins licensing rights to Batman 


LOS ANGELES — Warner Bros. has awarded Mattel Inc. the right to produce toys and games based on its Batman, Superman and Looney Tunes characters, including Bugs Bunny, for the next five years. 

The deal gives Mattel the right to produce plush dolls, vehicles, games, action figures and other toys for upcoming movies and television shows featuring the Warner Bros. characters. 

The deal is estimated to be worth between $200 million and $500 million over the life of the agreement according to people familiar with the matter. Mattel, based in El Segundo, Calif., will have worldwide rights, except in Asia. 

The agreement gives Mattel the lucrative Batman rights now held by rival Hasbro Inc. Those rights will go to Mattel when Warner’s current deal with Hasbro runs out at the end of this year. 


eBay buying online payment provider PayPal 


SAN JOSE — Online auction giant eBay Inc. hopes to get even bigger by attracting more users through buying Internet payment provider PayPal Inc. in a $1.3 billion stock deal. 

EBay executives said Monday they hope acquiring PayPal would make the trading site faster, easier and safer and give eBay a significant chunk of e-commerce action it is missing out on. 

“It brings together two companies in a way that will benefit our users,” eBay’s chief executive, Meg Whitman, told financial analysts in a conference call before the stock market opened Monday. 

EBay shares then fell $4.31, or 7.1 percent, to close at $56.24 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. PayPal stock jumped $1.61, or more than 8 percent, to $21.61. 

Mountain View-based PayPal lets buyers and sellers exchange money via e-mail. Buyers make payments online through credit cards and bank accounts, and PayPal relays the funds to sellers’ accounts. Basic usage is free, but sellers who use added features must pay fees based on the amount transferred.