Ebay Inc, the online auction site, said on Tuesday it plans to shut down the division of its business which links its web users to live auctions at other companies.

The San Jose, California-based firm will cease operations of eBay Live Auctions as of on December 31, 2008.

The service had allowed eBay users to link up to auctions moderated by traditional live auctioneers who call on bidders. The auctions typically conclude when there are no additional bids.

The company said in a statement that the move will not materially affect eBay's business.

As we work to improve the buying and selling experiences ... we need to make sure our resources are aligned with our priorities, said eBay's vice president of seller experience Jim Ambach.

The company's five-year partner for the service, LiveAuctioneers.com said the development would not interrupt any of its services. It plans to open an independent online marketplace for goods from its auction house clients.