San Jose, Calif. — EBay Inc. announced Thursday that it has agreed to pay $240 million in cash to acquire Zong, a provider in payments through mobile carrier billing.

The purchase will support eBay’s efforts to further their mobile commerce by offering PayPal users an additional way to pay for merchandise and products. Zong hosts connections with more than 250 mobile network operators across the world and offers secure mobile payment capabilities in 45 countries.

By acquiring Zong, PayPal can open their doors to users being able to fund their accounts with their phone — a capability PayPal hasn’t been able to offer to its 100 million user-base in the past, and one that merchants have been requesting.

“Commerce is changing. With mobile phones, we walk around with a mall in our pockets. PayPal helps to make money work better for customers in this new commerce reality – no matter how they want to pay or what device they’re using,” said Scott Thompson, president of PayPal. “We believe that Zong will strengthen this value by helping us reach the more than 4 billion people who have mobile phones, giving them more choice and security when they pay.”

The purchase of Zong is eBay’s seventh purchase so far in 2011.

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