For two years, the hottest topic in the auto-auction world has been multiplatform selling: A vehicle listed on one company's online auction would show up on rivals' platforms as well, allowing buyers to bid across those competing platforms until the sale is done.
Buyers no longer would need to monitor auctions on separate platforms, and the wider pool of buyers presumably would bring higher prices for sellers.
But that ideal required getting Manheim and ADESA, the two behemoths of the auction world, to work together, along with numerous other smaller auctions and related parties.
Late last month, that cooperation came to a screeching halt.
ADESA, the nation's second-largest auto-auction company and operator of ADESA.com, pulled out of a coalition aimed at enabling multiplatform selling, citing "complex issues and significant antitrust risks." The ServNet Auction Group of 32 independent auction companies promptly dropped out, too, citing similar concerns. SmartAuction, operated by Ally Financial Inc., said it isn't supporting the initiative, either.