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Mon Aug 10 2009 23:03:04

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

By: Ina Steiner

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Documents in the eBay Seller Antitrust Litigation had previously alleged that eBay and Yahoo formed an agreement in 2006 dubbed Project Unity. A later filing alleges that eBay tried to work with Amazon.com to block Google Checkout and Bill Me Later, but as discussions were ongoing, Amazon.com came out with its own payment service.  

While eBay's attempt to make its Australian marketplace PayPal-only were disallowed by the Australian government's regulatory agency, eBay's efforts to vastly restrict online payments in the U.S. have been met with no regulatory resistance, and the antitrust lawsuit filed by sellers has waged since 2007. The litigation stems from a lawsuit that alleged that eBay "utilizes its nationwide monopoly of the on-line auction market to monopolize the available forms of payment that sellers can use on eBay."

The plaintiffs in the case have fought for access to eBay documents during the discovery process. Unfortunately for observers, much of the supporting "evidence" for claims in the most recent document are redacted, meaning the juicy parts, such as internal emails from eBay and PayPal employees, are blacked out.

The document filed for Class Certification is quite serious in that it shows a rocky relationship between eBay and Google. eBay got into bed with Microsoft in recent years - was it to spite Google?

You can read more in Tuesday's AuctionBytes Newsflash newsletter.

And by the way, does anyone know eBay's code word for Amazon.com? It's redacted in the document.




Comments (61) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Aug 10 23:21:54 2009

Ina-

Are you saying the original copies have been redacted or just the ones released to you and the public at large have been redacted?

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner

Mon Aug 10 23:26:03 2009

It's redacted for public viewing. The parties' lawyers have full supporting documents.

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: ma

Mon Aug 10 23:30:54 2009

Didnt we all Know that was going on? then the argument with google and the tech problems so feeds didnt work in base. on and on and on. im at the end of my 6th day with NO sales. that is a 10 year record. xcuse... 9 years and 8 months. lol

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: Stephen

Mon Aug 10 23:48:06 2009

We would all gladly leave ebay behind in a heartbeat for googlebay.

Hope we see it in our lifetimes.

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: Gaz

Mon Aug 10 23:59:46 2009

What is the plaintiff's request from this class action?

One would hope they are targetting the removal of all payment choice restrictions, and the removal of paypal's advantageous positioning on the eBay platform - essentially a "level payments playing field".

Personally, I'd be more happy if they were going after eBay's one sided stance against sellers and PayPal's usury regarding claims by buyers.

However, any form of reining-in of the dinosaur must start somewhere I suppose.

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Aug 11 00:02:05 2009

@ David

Thank you.

A reasonable interpretation could be that the redacted material is so explosively incriminating that to make it public now could invite immediate government investigation and more private lawsuits.

Somebody was a "good ebay citizen" when they left.

I'm amazed that ebafia's attorneys haven't claimed 'lost' emails, irretrievably crashed hard drives, etc.

If like all the other class action plaintiffs who've sued ebay, Michael Malone et. al. settle, we will never see the contents of these documents because ebay ALWAYS demand sealed judgement and gag orders.

But the Department of Justice, the  states attorney generals, and Congress could subpoena them!

HOLD EBAFIA RESPONSIBLE FOIR ITS CRIMINAL CONDUCT AGAINST MEMBERS!

1.  US Department of Justice (DoJ)
    Anti Trust Division
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20530
    E-mail: antitrust.atr@usdoj.gov

    How to submit a complaint:

    http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm


2. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
   Consumer Response Center
   600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
   Washington, DC 20580

    Mission: The Federal Trade Commission is the nation's consumer protection agency. The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection works For The Consumer to prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices in the marketplace.

The Bureau:

Enhances consumer confidence by enforcing federal laws that protect consumers

Empowers consumers with free information to help them exercise their rights and spot and avoid fraud and deception

Wants to hear from consumers who want to get information or file a complaint about fraud or identity theft

    To report a company for a pattern and practice of suspected fraud:

    1-877-382-4357

    The FTC doe NOT resolve individual consumer complaints. Please confine your remarks whether verbal or written to ebay/PayPal policies you believe are illegal.

    Online fraud complaint form:

    https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

3. Securities and Exchange Commission
   SEC Complaint Center
   100 F Street NE
   Washington, D.C. 20549-0213

   http://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce.shtml
   (above link includes information about insider trading and sending tips and complaints

  1. Insider trading: http://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/insider.htm
  2. Tips and Complaints: http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml

  Online complaint forms: http://www.sec.gov/complaint/selectconduct.shtml

  Hypthetically, if I were filing an SEC complaint, I'd strongly consider:

  --False or misleading statements about a company (including false or misleading SEC reports or financial statements)

5. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)
   Chairman
   House Energy and Commerce Committee
   2204 Rayburn
   House Office Building
   Washington, D.C. 20515
   Telephone (202) 225-3976
   Fax (202) 225-4099

   LOS ANGELES OFFICE
   8436 West Third Street, Ste 600
   Los Angeles, CA 90048
   Telephone 1 (310) 652-3095
   Telephone 2 (818) 878-7400
   Telephone 3 (323) 651-1040
   Fax (323) 655-0502

   http://waxman.house.gov/

6. Attorney General’s Office
   California Department of Justice
   Attn: Consumer Protection Division
   P.O. Box 944255
   Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
   (916) 322-3360

http://ag.ca.gov/contact/complaint_form.php?cmplt=CLR>
7.
Attorney General's Office
   2115 State Capitol
   Lincoln, NE 68509
   Consumer Protection Division: 800) 727-6432

   Online complaint form: http://www.ago.ne.gov/consumer/emailforms/consumer_complaint.htm
R>Specific
consumer complaints to the Attorney Generals against ebay/PayPal should be directed to the California and Nebraska Attorney general's Office Divison of Consumer complaints. Complaints could include PayPal holds on seller funds, ebay billing issues, PayPal confiscation of seller property, etc. PayPal complaints should be directed to both attorney generals' office, and ebay complaints should be sent to California.

General comments:

-- Emails and phone calls are fine, but SNAIL MAIL has more impact. PLEASE send all complaints with regular USPS mail.

-- When filing and mailing WRITTEN complaints, spring for an extra envelope and stamp and send a copy to the San Jose Better Bureau. Little will come of it, BUT ebay MUST file a written response.

-- Rep. Waxman has the ability to hold public hearings on the conduct of a business or industry. He has the power to subpoena executives past and present, past and present rank and file employees, and records. Consider the possibilities :-)

8. San Jose Better Business Bureau
   1112 S. Bascom Ave.
   San Jose, CA 95128
   Phone: (408) 278-7400

9. Ebay operates in all 50 states. Therefore sending copies of complaints or filing directly with your state's attorney general's office will make a difference if they receive enough complaints. Your can find your attorney general and consumer protection information by using a search engine using these keywords (Your state) Attorney General Consumer Protection.

Please post this information on every relevant website and blog -- especially TV news, newspaper, financial, and business media blogs and websites. This information should be posted in hundreds of location on a daily basis for maximum and persistent exposure. Remember that certain corporations hire people to disrupt blogs and that includes spamming them to bury unwelcome
messages.

10. Michael Moore

   http:///www.michaelmoore.com
   mike@michaelmoore.com

Michael can do for ebay what he did for GM.

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Aug 11 00:05:08 2009

Folks, this is the Smoking Gun we've been waiting for!

And you can take it to the bank there's a lot more out there that's just as incriminating.

Ebay is a criminal enterprise that's probably violated most provisions in the Sherman Anti Trust and Clayton Acts.

Make ebafia accountable or kwitcherbitchin.

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: Joe Blo

Tue Aug 11 00:07:27 2009

Good! eBay deserves a little pain.

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: Patricia

Tue Aug 11 00:07:40 2009

Wow! Its hard for plaintiffs NOT to settle out of court since class action suits generally only make the attorneys rich.  I hope this one sees the light of a courtroom.  Who knows, maybe Ebay's troubles are only just beginning.  I've heard that Mr. Donahoe has been down with a mysterious on and off "stomach flu" for over a month now (his own admission in a recent video).  I bet its not flu at all....but FEAR!

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: Buck Efay

Tue Aug 11 00:11:23 2009

I get "stomach flu" at the mere mention of Ebay! Can't help but laugh about this one. It's about time someone did to Ebay what they did to us.

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: fruity

Tue Aug 11 00:29:25 2009

David, are we missing part of the article? Who filed this case. Is it a new one or an old one. Who is the law firm representing this?

Some of us might actually have some useful information we have been hoarding like moi!

personally, I think this is bigger than just those groups.

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Aug 11 00:44:16 2009

Fruity, though obviously I'm not David Steiner, plaintiff Michael Malone of Texas originally filed this case against PayPal.

Several months later, the case was transferred from a Texas/New York law firm to a California law firm om California federal district court and merged with a similar anti trust class action filed by other plaintiffs.

The suit alleges numerous violations of the Sherman Anti Trust Act and depending on what can be determined through the discovery process, the lawyers can amend and expand the case to include more allegations.

Here's alink I saved, and I believe there's more information about this case in the onbytes blog archives.

Auctihttp://www.hagens-berman.com/eBay_classaction.ht
m

You
can sign up as a plaintiff onnthis website, and I'm sure the law firm would be happy to receive whatever relevant information anyone has.

If the plaintiffs don't cave in, this case could be worth a staggering amount of money. The lawyers stand to make far more money by taking this trials because any fair minded jury isn't going to appreciate what ebafia has done to its members.

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: fruity

Tue Aug 11 00:50:10 2009

David, have you seen the redacted filing?

and also this is about ebay. Its not a lawsuit against Yahoo or Google. Maybe we all should sue Yahoo for what they did to Yahoo auctions and Yahoo payments? wuss out. I have stock in all 3 companies. Err not on yahoo anymore. I have always felt what yahoo did was a bunch of bull. They were full on competitors

In fact I remember back in pre-paypal that Ebay & Yahoo were in talks about a merger or alliance, that was when my ebay stock soared up to what $250 a share!!!!

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: Sue

Tue Aug 11 02:19:38 2009

Maybe one reason Ebay has been so intent on destroying itself is to keep their criminal $ liability low when the antitrust suits are finally completed.  By forcing small Ebay sellers out of the system and into the arms of  tiny auction venues, they can claim that they are not the only game in town, at least as of 2008.  And since most of those other venues allow sellers to choose from among several payment options, Ebay can say they're not forcing Paypal on anyone, since there are other venues where sellers have options in addition to Paypal.

Of course, I'm probably giving them more credit for intelligence than they deserve, but it is a thought.

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Tue Aug 11 02:28:32 2009

is this even a real article?


oh, wait...

I see, it's a teaser...

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: x_powerseller

Tue Aug 11 02:39:18 2009

We have moved on and no longer sell on eBay, but continue to monitor what is happening there with the hope that one day we’ll see John Donahoe behind bars where he belongs!  
This is an interesting article and a subject that should be monitored closely.


I found an interesting question posted on eBay’s Board Ask Griff  posted 08-05-09 (I have a screenshot) that read:

===========
How can you sleep at night knowing very well that you are conspiring with JD to get rid of the small and medium size sellers who made eBay?

I believe that this a legitimate question that deserves an honest answer (assuming there is a grain of honesty left)

===========


Of course the fat useless Griff did not have the decency to respond and deleted it, just like hundreds & maybe thousands of posts by their paying customers (the sellers)!

I pray the day will come where all these criminals will be held responsible for what they have done!

I continue to urge all sellers out there who have their own websites to stop accepting PayPal.  They are counting on PayPal to make up for the lost revenue in the marketplace.  So, get your own merchant account or accept any other terms of payment EXCEPT PayPal.   Hurt them in their pocketbook where you have control!

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: what

Tue Aug 11 07:11:14 2009

Ebay is so UnAmerican and corrupt that the supreme rulers of ebay should be blindfolded and shot for being so arrogant.

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: Wake-Up!

Tue Aug 11 08:28:23 2009

Does this surprise anyone? Not me!  Not after what I witness first hand what they did to millions of sellers worldwide - and continue to do!

If these ''allegedly'' corrupt bastards approached other company's looking for accomplices to do their evil deeds along side them - sneaking behind their rivals and stabbing them in the back (just like they did to the sellers), what makes you think they haven't approached the right people here in the US to simply turn a blind eye to the Paypal only monopoly?

This IMO, this is the evilest of all, and companies like this should be dismantled. It only serves to blacken the eye of America even more.

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: Charlotte Fancy

Tue Aug 11 09:15:28 2009

Oh good grief! Why does this NOT surprise me?

eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?   eBay-Yahoo-Amazon Troika Against Google?

by: MaverickLouis

Tue Aug 11 09:50:03 2009

Well how did you not know this would happen when google takes up 80% of market share of search engines. Obviously the biggest powerhouse also has the biggest bulls eye.  

I would try VroomLive.com for the new reverse auction site!

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