|Mon July 1 2013 20:58:33|
Would eBay Improve Under Google Ownership?
By: Ina Steiner
Should Google buy eBay? And if it did, would eBay be the better or worse for it? And how about this: would you be interested in selling on a Microsoft marketplace?
Several readers forwarded me news headlines that got me thinking about marketplace mashups. A Florida financial advisor/radio talk show host wrote on Seeking Alpha that Google should acquire eBay. "Google has tried, and in my opinion, failed in the area of retail," he wrote.
If Google acquired eBay, it would make it a major player in retail and, he wrote, would "instantly make them the dominant player in online payments by integrating it with their Virtual Wallet service."
What would a Google - eBay mashup look like? (And would eBay listings be more likely to be found in Google search results with better rankings?)
There was a time when online sellers wished Google would launch a marketplace to compete with eBay, though I'm not sure they would be as enthusiastic about the concept these days, after Google turned Shopping into a paid ad platform.
However, when Julia blogged today about a new product Google is testing called Google Mine - "a way to keep track of the items you own or you'd like to have and share some of them with your circles" - someone posted in the comments:
"As fed up with eBay as so many sellers are, this could be a threat to eBay. Sellers are chomping at the bit for something new, and not just another marketplace who think "if we build it they will come"."
Another article, posted in the Wall Street Journal, revealed that Microsoft had recently explored launching a marketplace. "To lure shoppers, Microsoft was considering subsidizing the price of goods on its e-commerce service using a portion of advertising dollars merchants spend on Microsoft's Bing Web-search engine or elsewhere," according to anonymous people who were briefed on the company's plans.
Microsoft confirmed it had worked on "Project Brazil," which it called "an incubation to enable a more direct commerce model between customers and brands and merchants." A Microsoft spokesperson told the Journal it remained committed to "finding new and differentiated ways to enable a richer, more task oriented approach to e-commerce and online advertising." But would Microsoft be able to attract shoppers if it launched a marketplace? What if it acquired a marketplace?
Are you so fed up with today's offerings that you'd welcome another player? What would be your ideal marketplace? Would Google, Apple or Microsoft make the list?