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eBay CEO John Donahoe Gets into Google Antitrust Fray

Google favors its own comparison shopping site in general search results pages, which stifles competition and harms consumers, according to the European Commission, which is conducting an antitrust investigation.

But outgoing CEO of eBay John Donahoe bolstered Google’s claim that it’s not a monopoly by saying eBay is a strong commerce competitor of Google, according to the UK newspaper the Financial Times. “John Donahoe said in an interview with the Financial Times that barriers were breaking down between different areas of online commerce.”

Google says eBay and Amazon dominate online shopping, according to the newspaper, but comparison shopping engines disagree with Google’s argument in defending its position. The Financial Times quoted a UK comparison shopping service, which argued eBay and Amazon are merchant platforms, not comparison shopping sites.

While it’s true there’s no love lost between eBay and Google, it began over Google’s attempts to compete with eBay’s PayPal payment unit rather than with any competition between eBay Marketplaces and Google Shopping. In fact, eBay is allowed to advertise on the Google Shopping platform.

However, it’s not surprising Donahoe would be on the opposite side of government regulators and antitrust investigators by arguing that eBay too has lots of competitors.

Reuters reported on Friday that Microsoft was among the 19 U.S. and European companies who filed official complaints in the case.

Note: eBay said Donahoe’s comments had been misconstrued, according to Marketwatch. “”While the specific complaint against Google has not been made public, we believe the Commission is investigating important concerns with the Internet ecosystem,” eBay said in a statement.”


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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.