|Thu Feb 23 2012 17:55:32|
eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group
By: Ina Steiner
The head of eBay's Government Relations team Tod Cohen sent an email to eBay's registered users on Thursday asking them to join the company's "Main Street" program, which has over 300,000 members. The company also posted the invitation via the eBay Government Relations Twitter and Facebook accounts.
eBay Main Street describes itself as a global grassroots network to help users informed and take action on legislative and regulatory matters that may affect users of eBay, PayPal and other eBay Inc. brands. "Whether it's an email campaign, petition or in-person meeting with policymakers, we'll help you organize around the issues that matter to you and others."
Cohen set out three issues that sellers care about in his email to entice them to get involved. The first is the Internet sales tax issue - he said eBay Main Street participation in California helped convince state legislators to exempt from its sales-tax law all sellers with less than $1 million in sales into the state. "That pro-small business provision protected nearly all eBay sellers," he wrote.
eBay is also asking for help to get Congress to pass a federal privacy bill and reduce unnecessary customs barriers to cross border sales.
While eBay has many small sellers, it's important to look at its lobbying efforts with the understanding that the company itself is a large public corporation. When it comes to reducing barriers to cross-border trade, for example, eBay is no doubt just as interested in easing imports into the U.S. as it is in helping U.S. users sell abroad.
What do you think - are eBay and Sellers' interests aligned on legislative and regulatory issues?