Thursday, June 14, 2007

eBay Bullies Google?

As reported by ComputerWorld

On Monday, Google announced it would throw a party in Boston on Thursday evening designed to attract eBay merchants who would be in town to attend the eBay Live annual seller conference.

The purpose of the party: protesting eBay's decision to forbid merchants in its marketplace from using Google's [Paypal alternative] "Google Checkout" online transaction system.

eBay found Google's move to be in bad taste and, at some point after the party was announced, took the drastic measure of pulling all of its ads from Google's AdWords U.S. network.

A source familiar with the situation said that eBay's decision to turn off the ads had come from the company's top executives who were steaming over what they perceived as a low blow by Google designed to embarrass eBay in front of its top merchants.

It would be hard to disagree with eBay executives' assessment, considering the mocking tone of Google's party announcement , encouraging eBay merchants to gather at the Old South Meeting House, where in 1773 mass protest meetings were held, leading to the Boston Tea Party.

"We’ll use the same spot where revolutionaries launched the Boston Tea Party to celebrate freedom with free food, free drinks, free live music -- even free massages," the official blog posting reads.

Then, this afternoon, Google unexpectedly canceled the party after its officials apparently determined they had gone too far.

I'm very suprised by this ... Google should have let them sweat. I think eBay would have been hurt MORE by not having Adsense directing users to eBay.They would have have been forced to re-evaluate the decision.

It is VERY concerning how much power eBay has over freedom of speech on the internet and even more concerning how they claim all of the fraudulent activity that goes on on their own site - that is "uncontrollable" or "acceptable within a certain tolerance".

I would consider Google the ONLY company capable of giving ebay an attitude adjustment ... this news is a big let down.


Anonymous said...

"I would consider Google the ONLY company capable of giving ebay an attitude adjustment"

This is probably true, but so is the reverse. And in this case I think it's Google that needed to be taken down a notch.

I like Google, but they have a very "get forgiveness instead of permission" philosophy, and sooner or later someone (big) was bound to push back. This was an ugly move on Google's part, and I think eBay (who I'm not that fond of) did the right thing.

Can you imagine how Google would react if eBay held a "Google bashing" party with food, booze, etc. during a Google-sponsored conference?

FYT said...

I do see your point ... however ... I think Google would welcome the competition ... and this may be JUST the incident that gets a ball rolling.

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed that Google hasn't pursued this. It's sad. When eBay bought PayPal there where free trade hearings where eBay promised that they would not impede other pay sites, like google check out, from being used on eBay auctions. As a matter of fact, eBay would not have been able to purchase PayPal were it not for that pledge.

Isn't there an anti-trust law that could force eBay to divest itself from PayPal unless they allow sellers to list Google Checkout and couldn't any seller on eBay force the case?

FYT said...


eBay is on the edge of a major class action ... for many reasons. Paypal has become eBays way of sticking it to the small seller ... which eBay is claiming to investors they are trying to discourage - claiming they are the cause of the rampant fraud ... when all it would take is some policing on eBay's part.