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eBay to Force U.S. PayPal Use (After Australian Rejection)from AU
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 06:50:58 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: "scarletmanuka () iinet net au" <scarletmanuka () iinet net au>
Date: August 21, 2008 4:38:47 AM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Subject: Re: [IP] Re: eBay to Force U.S. PayPal Use (After Australian Rejection)
Reply-To: scarletmanuka () iinet net au

For IP, the Australian experience with eBay payment methods:

The message from Steve DelBianco is pushing the argument that the planned changes won't hurt buyers: "the requirement for electronic payments is not about limiting choice."

I don't know the details of what eBay is proposing to do in the US, but in Australia they very definitely wanted to limit buyer choice. This is an extract from their original news item:
_____

All items listed for sale on eBay.com.au on or after 21 May 2008 must offer PayPal as one of the payment methods.

All items appearing on eBay.com.au as of 17 June 2008 must be paid for using one of the following:

PayPal
Pay on pick up (i.e. paid for when picking up the item)
Visa/MasterCard (with transactions processed by PayPal).
No other payment methods will be permitted.
_____

(this is included in a later update notice which can be viewed at http://www2.ebay.com/aw/au/200805210958022.html - the original announcement refers the reader to another page for all the details, which has since been updated and no longer has the original plan.)

So the first stage was to force PayPal to be offered on all auctions, and the second stage was to force PayPal to be used for payment for virtually all auctions. Since I personally prefer to use direct bank deposit where possible and normally only use PayPal for international purchases, I was extremely upset by this announcement and very pleased when the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) stepped in. However, eBay weren't too pleased: you can see their reaction to the ACCC's initial draft notice at http://www2.ebay.com/aw/au/200806131705542.html but the short version is "we'll push back the date by a month while we try to get the ruling changed because we still want to force everyone to use PayPal". They eventually gave up (see http://www2.ebay.com/aw/au/200807031121182.html) but with a general tone of "we still think it would have been better if you'd done it our way".

If I were an eBay user in the US, I would be very wary of the changes to come. It seems entirely too likely that they have the same ends in view in the US that they tried to implement here, and are just trying to get in with the thin end of the wedge.

Sacha Roscoe




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