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Defending eBay's right to differentiate and be hypocritical

Scott Wingo's eBay blog points out that eBay is blocking Google's payment service, http://ebaystrategies.blogs.com/ebay_strategies/2006/07/ebay_bans_googl.html  obviously to leverage its own Paypal service.

I strongly defend eBay's right to differentiate their service and believe the market will sort this out over time. If eBay's customers throw a hissy fit and clamor for Google's payment option, eBay will have to adjust. My guess is they have already made that calculation and believe that the vast majority of their users use and prefer Paypal. (Think of this as eBay giving a metaphorical "stiff-arm" to Google's face for attempting to tackle Paypal. Not nice but perfectly within the rules of competition. It will be interesting to see if Google whines about this stiff-arm like it whines about everything else that doesn't go their way.) 

In a free and open Internet, I also defend eBay's right to be hypocritical and maintain a self-serving competition/NN double standard. If they want to differentiate their service by blocking another payment application, and degrading Google's apparent God-given right to poach everybody else's business with a free service supported by advertising, and impairing the seamlessness of ecommerce payments, that is how competition works. Isn't always pretty, but it sure is effective in best serving consumers overall. If customers don't like eBay's policy they can complain loudly and longly and take their business elsewhere if necessary. Competition fixes things that consumers don't like, and it doesn't come with all the unintended consequences of government regulation.

eBay's defense of Paypal, suggests that eBay might analogously choose to block, degrade and impair VoIP communications competitors in order to defend their Skype investment. In a competiive market they have every right to do it, becuase if it truly ill-serves their customers, they will lose business becuase of it. 

I just note from the perch of my blog, that eBay seems to be getting pretty tangled up in its own underwear on this one. It's their competitive right and it sure is entertaining to watch. The market will work it out.

   

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