Portuguese Firm Microsoft to Auction Name on Ebay

Portuguese company Microsoft Lda. plans to put its brand name and business up for sale on online auction site eBay on Wednesday with a starting price of $1 million, its chief executive, Ricardo Carvalho, said on Monday.

Microsoft Ltd. is the only company that can use the name Microsoft in Portugal. It registered its name in 1981 while Microsoft Corp. , the world's largest software company, began operating in Portugal in 1990.

U.S.-based Microsoft is registered as MSFT in Portugal.

"MSFT has said it was interested in our brand name but needed more time to discuss the matter," Carvalho told Reuters.

"We have held talks with them in the past and didn't want to wait for them anymore."

A spokesman for Microsoft in Portugal declined to comment on the situation.