Google Rival Ebay AdContext Having Trouble Leaving The Starting Gate

The online ad business is heating up and is putting Google in a decidedly defensive posture. Yahoo's moves this week to add significant functionality to its search is just one issue. Ebay's much anticipated AdContext program appears to be having difficulties launching.

AdContext was initially supposed to launch by the end of last year. In early November, Ebay started to step back from that date, saying that a January launch was likely and at least a first quarter launch.

On Wednesday (Jan. 24), the same spokesperson who had indicated the January target stepped back from any targets. "I don't have an update at this time," said eBay spokesperson Ali Croft. "AdContext is still in beta and when we are confident that it is ready to roll out to the Community, we will roll it out."