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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1559 - June 13, 2007 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 5

eBay and Google: The Gloves Are Off, It's Getting Ugly

By Ina Steiner
June 13, 2007

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It's eBay Live, it must be time for Google Checkout to steal the spotlight from eBay's annual conference yet again. In previous years, it was the rumor of a Google payment service that had eBay sellers' tongues wagging during eBay's conference. This year, eBay and Google may need the services of a British super-nanny to stop the squabbling that has erupted this week.

It started when Google sent an invitation to eBay sellers inviting them to a Boston Tea Party. It's not unusual for companies who are banned from eBay's "proprietary" conference to hold off-site functions and attract attendees. Alibaba and Overstock have had some success with this tactic in previous years.

eBay may have shown its displeasure at Google's brazen move. According to a Google spokesperson, eBay's ProStores division had contacted it about integrating Google Checkout into ProStores, but he said that eBay canceled talks this week. So on Tuesday, Google stepped up the pressure by reaching out to the media to spin its Boston party as a protest against the ban, and spinning it as part of a grassroots movement by eBay sellers - bringing up the anti-trust lawsuit sellers had filed against eBay over its PayPal payment service (http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y07/m05/i04/s02).

Brian Smith of Comparison Engines said he got a tip that eBay had pulled its Google Adwords campaign Monday night, later updating his blog to report that the ads were back (http://tinyurl.com/ytu8jr).

Google is getting down and dirty in its battle to try and force eBay to accept Google Checkout. Perhaps Google is taking lessons from Alibaba's Jack Ma.

Google postponed an interview with AuctionBytes scheduled for Tuesday evening, leading us to wonder if Meg and Eric are on the phone hammering it out.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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