There was more to the announcement of Yahoo! Inc’s auction site launch this week than at first meets the eye. Yahoo signed a deal with Onsale Inc to provide to the back-end system to its person- to-person auction service (http://auctions.yahoo.com) replacing the use of Onsale Exchange on its portal site. Exchange was launched in October last year. But in signing the deal, Onsale has abandoned its own-branded efforts in the person-to-person space and will instead concentrate on its business-to-business and business-to-consumer offerings, the company said. Onsale’s site now contains a Yahoo button for users wanting person-to-person services and the Yahoo site is powered by Onsale. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, apart from the fact that it is exclusive to Yahoo and is funded entirely through advertising, so it is free to the user. And it does not look like stopping there for Onsale. The company says it might consider similar deals to provide back-end business-to-business and business-to-consumer auction systems to other portal sites. Anyone would think that it’s not too hot on its own brand name.