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eBay Responds Regarding My PayPal Posting
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 17:25:38 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Lauren Weinstein <lauren () vortex com>
Date: August 20, 2008 4:52:57 PM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Cc: lauren () vortex com
Subject: eBay Responds Regarding My PayPal Posting

                    eBay Responds Regarding My PayPal Posting


Greetings.  After my posting earlier today
( http://lauren.vortex.com/archive/000415.html ) regarding eBay's move
to require electronic payments in the U.S., I was contacted by a
senior eBay public relations official -- and we had a pleasant chat.

While there aren't any fundamental changes in the story, I wanted to
pass along a few details gleaned from our conversation.

As you might expect, eBay's position is that their move is a
win-win-win situation for eBay, buyers, and sellers, especially
since reportedly some 90% of eBay transactions are already in
electronic form -- and they note that as part of the transition to
the "100%"-electronic requirement, eBay will offer 100% purchase
coverage insurance.  eBay also points out that eBay has no direct
financial interest with at least one of the electronic payment
options -- credit card acceptance system ProPay.

It was also mentioned that buyers and sellers who meet *in person*
to consummate a transaction would still be free to use whatever
payment means they wished -- though in my view this is a highly
atypical situation for most eBay users, and it seems clear that eBay
will be monitoring transactions carefully to to avoid abuse of this
"loophole" in the otherwise rather dogmatic electronic payments
regime being implemented.

eBay also asserts that the regulatory reaction situations in
Australia and the U.S. are not directly comparable due to differing
specific particulars in eBay's plans for the two countries.

As you might imagine, eBay apparently will be offering inducements
to try convince eBay sellers that the loss of the ability to
continue routinely accepting checks or money orders is nothing to
get worked up about.  And after all, we're only talking about a
measly 10% or so of transactions, right?

Anyway, that's eBay's take on the situation.  The eBay seller
community has the final say of course -- one way or the other -- by
voting with their auction items and/or their feet.

Thanks much to eBay for reaching out to discuss this interesting
controversy with me today.

Lauren Weinstein
lauren () vortex com or lauren () pfir org
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
Co-Founder, PFIR
  - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org
Co-Founder, NNSquad
  - Network Neutrality Squad - http://www.nnsquad.org
Founder, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com

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