eBay sellers are playing a game of "whodunit" today over a new submission to the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding eBay's PayPal-only policy slated to go into effect next month. The ACCC withheld the name of the entity filing the detailed 38-page submission, leading to speculation over possible suspects.
Who might complain against eBay's policy? We've already seen sellers, banks, competitors and other organizations such as the EFF file submissions - and their names were not withheld.
Whom would the Australian government allow to post but not make public their name? Some users have speculated that it could be Google, whose Checkout payment system was rebuked by eBay. But the ACCC did not withhold PayMate's name from its filing, so why would it withhold Google's name?
Others have guessed an Australian auction site or ecommerce platform, but again, the ACCC would not likely protect them by withholding their name in the filing.
One clue might be in the paragraph on eBay's third-party checkout system. It jumps out as being written by someone who has experience dealing with eBay's platform. An auction-management service, perhaps? Possibly an eBay partner - someone who might fear retribution from eBay and/or PayPal if it was known they filed the complaint?
That would make sense on another level - in no other submission has there been such level of detail and knowledge of eBay's inner workings. It also looks like a lot of money and time went into this filing, it would have to be someone who could afford lawyers.
I won't name names myself, but there are some obvious contenders. Of course, this is pure speculation - but feel free to post your theories here as to who this mysterious entity might be and why they would wish to remain anonymous.
Suspect: Someone who relies on eBay/PayPal's goodwill to operate its business, who either has deep pockets or has allies with deep pockets, and who has a vested interest in allowing sellers to continue offering the online payment services of their choice using their own checkout system.
Update 5/29/08: The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper published an article about this incident. And Google's not commenting on the story beyond what it told the newspaper.