The pair of Italian console tables that sold for £28,000 at Semley Auctioneers of Shaftesbury in Dorset on January 24.

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They have already built the leading live online auctions service in the UK with the-saleroom.com, now they are turning their attentions to the United States with AntiqueWeek Live Auctions.

It is a three-way venture in which ATG Media have formed a partnership with US antiques newspaper AntiqueWeek - the former stablemate of ATG and the only antiques newspaper with editions across the whole of the US - and RemoteBidder.com, the team who established BidSpotter.com ten years ago. They will provide the live online sales platform. Together the three partners have direct access to 100,000 antiques and collectables professionals and collectors.

ATG Media say that one of the strengths of their position is the pre-eminence of their profile among serious buyers and sellers of art and antiques because of their links with both Antiques Trade Gazette and AntiqueWeek. Both papers have brought weekly news and analysis to the trade and private buyers for close to 40 years. It's an advantage that none of their competitors has.

AuctionBytes, the independent trade publication for online merchants, has been following developments. Last week reporter Ina Steiner noted: "The challenge for live-bidding services and auction houses is marketing - eBay gave those auction listings exposure the auctioneers are bound to miss."

It's a problem ATG Media say they don't face because, in addition to the newspaper links, their UK live online auctions service, the-saleroom.com, has built its own client base over the last few years without depending on eBay.

For AntiqueWeek Live Auctions, ATG Media have developed the proven software, while RemoteBidder.com will be managing customer service. Meanwhile, AntiqueWeek will add the experience, knowledge and expertise of the antiques industry.

Auctioneers licensed in the US will be able to upload their entire catalogue and offer live internet bidding complete with audio - and soon, video.

Other options will include uploading the catalogue and accepting absentee bids or uploading a selection of items, offering them in an eBay-style bidding process of seven to ten-day auctions.

The end user simply logs onto www.antiqueweek.com/liveauctions and completes a quick and free registration process, accessible for both Mac and PC users.