Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Feb 27 2014 13:18:52

eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

By: Ina Steiner

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In trying to get eBay to spinoff PayPal and gain two board seats, Carl Icahn accuses Marc Andreessen of having a conflict of interest in gaining access to non-public information as an eBay board member while investing in and actively advising at least five direct competitors of PayPal, including Boku (mobile payments platform), Coinbase (Bitcoin wallet), Dwolla (secure online money management), Jumio (online and mobile credit card payments) and Fab (design e-commerce). He also claims Intuit's Scott Cook has a conflict of interest, asking, "How can the (eBay) board have a conversation about the strategy or performance of PayPal when a representative of a direct competitor who has so much at stake is in the room?"

Today, eBay founder and chairman of the eBay Board of Directors Pierre Omidyar issued a statement defending the board, but he, of all people, understands that board members may share confidential information with competitors.

During the eBay v Craigslist corporate governance trial at which Omidyar himself testified, eBay's representatives on Craigslist's Board of Directors admitted using confidential Craigslist data to launch eBay's own competing classifieds site. In fact, the reason eBay sued Craigslist was because the latter diluted its shares in order to get eBay off its board.

Meg Whitman and Pierre Omidyar said they believed eBay had a duty with regards to confidential information provided by Craigslist as part of its stake in the company, but they said they did not check to see what eBay was specifically doing to protect that information.

Omidyar wrote in in his statement today, "Throughout the board's process of divesting Skype, Marc Andreessen recused himself from all deliberations on the transaction, including all discussions, negotiations, and decisions. eBay and its shareholders benefitted from the divestiture of Skype and its ultimate sale to Microsoft. The transactions were widely seen as a superb outcome for the company."

But Omidyar doesn't address the fact that Andreessen was privy to eBay's thoughts on Skype prior to and as he put together an investor coalition to buy Skype that included his own firm.

Carl Icahn has asked, "How can Mr. Donahoe and the eBay Board allow Mr. Andreessen to advise these competitors while he simultaneously possesses not only nonpublic eBay Board information but also intimate proprietary information about PayPal's operations? But perhaps more importantly, how can Mr. Andreessen be trusted to objectively advise Mr. Donahoe and the eBay Board about the strategic direction of PayPal when he has vested interest in so many of its competitors?"

eBay responded, "Because Mr. Andreessen's fund had a small stake in the acquiring group, Mr. Andreessen was recused from all decision making." So presumably Andreessen was privy to all non-public information about Skype leading up to the offer.

The question must be asked - if Andreessen had to be recused from Skype decision-making process, why didn't he also exclude his own company from participating in the purchase of Skype? And, why is Icahn the one asking this question rather than eBay's own board or the financial press at the time of the sale?




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Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

by: Eric Saeger This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 27 14:22:35 2014

"The question must be asked - if Andreessen had to be recused from Skype decision-making process, why didn't he also exclude his own company from participating in the purchase of Skype?"

That's hilarious.

"And, why is Icahn the one asking this question rather than eBay's own board or the financial press at the time of the sale?"

Bartiromo had a Botox appointment that month, silly.

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Feb 27 15:41:25 2014

If I owned a company, I would not want a Board member sharing confidential information with ANYONE.  Do they not sign confidentiality agreements at that level?

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Thu Feb 27 16:05:04 2014

"Confidentiality agreements" ... you joke of course ... these guys are all members of the exclusive "mutual back scratching" club ... If you think otherwise, good luck ...

Then there is Omidyar; if he had had any integrity at all he would have long ago instructed eBay Inc. to cease its demonstrable, knowing and calculated facilitation of massive auction fraud on the consumers of the world; certainly, he should have at least stopped Johnny Ho from further obscuring this massive auction fraud in 2008. Would it be too much to expect that Omidyar’s bunch of new “investigative” journalists might look at and report on eBay’s demonstrable criminal activities? I suspect so … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

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

Thu Feb 27 16:48:27 2014

Some of us have been saying for years here just how thoroughly corrupt ebafia's BoD and top management are.

Few of any outside this blog paid any attention whatsoever and still aren't. Most of the alleged analysts and journalists are simply re packaging comments from the cannon ball exchange. It would appear that no 'journalist' is interested in investigating any deeper in spite of the fact that Icahn is only reporting the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

The financial 'press' loses access to the movers and shakers when they report truth.

The Steiners know ebafia plays the crooked access game because ebafia told them some time ago that unless the "tone" of this blog "improved," no one from ebafia would be available for interviews during an upcoming convention.

They weren't made available so the logical conclusion is that the "tone" of the blog continued to annoy the thin skinned elites who rule ebafia and exterminate small businesses.

Corporate media is no longer about dispassionately and accurately reporting facts. It's about access and building careers and that means reporting spin and regurgitating dishonest and misleading corporate press releases.

Most media is as corrupt as most corporations and the many criminal Boards of Directors that rubber stamp equally criminal CEOs and CFOs.

As for Pierre, he knows only slightly more about the complexities of ebay and big business in general than my cat.

Remember when he prostituted himself on the nauseating video for The Ho when The Ho introduced those largely unnecessary draconian policies as the first step in his disruption?

As long as Pierre's checks keep rolling in so he can play philanthropist savior in India, he'll continue supporting the corrupt current management.

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

by: Ogri This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 27 18:45:36 2014

Think Mr Omidyer is mixing up facts and opinions in his statement, his comments seem to be more his opinions, not facts.
Also, it kind of seems odd that one of the respected and valuable members of the board is 'allowed' to drop out of discussions concerning a very major strategic decision, primarily so that he can make a personal investment.  Priorities wrong?

I can clearly see and agree there is little overlap between Intuit and Ebay/Paypal, confirmed when I looked at the two sites:
https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/paypal-payments-pro
ht
tp://www.intuit.co.uk/accept-card-payments/intuit-pay-benefits.jsp

 

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 27 18:55:37 2014

Icahn Checking and Balancing JD from corruptions and cahooting with ebay boards.

Why is Omidyar stopping Icahn.
All Icahn is asking is to put 2 board members to make sure any further cahootings are stop immediately.

Omidyar Network .. A BIG JOKE!

A tool to cover up, misinform and mis-direct?  Omidyar have yet to earn the respects from the people he claimed he is protecting.

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 27 19:42:34 2014

All ebay board directors, Omidyar and JD and their immediate families should recuse themselves in upcoming election of the new ebay board members to prove the suggestion by Omidyar that they are well liked by others.

If each director personally profited from sales of ebay properties, would they sell ebay back to Omidyar for a penny on the dollar?  The question is hypothetical but trust and credibility are earned.  

ebay investors need to rally behind Icahn and help Icahn's nominees get elected.

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 28 01:05:27 2014

It has been reported that since Icahn started into ebay Pierre has profited over $450 MILLION on the increased value of his stock.

Icahn BETTER follow through on all this or he is just making ebay RICHER.
MH

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

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

Fri Feb 28 03:48:24 2014

The sum of Pierre Omidyar's business acumen consists of signing his name on a piece of paper when ebay went public and endorsing the checks and stock certificates he's been receiving since.

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 28 07:29:25 2014

Good thing Pierre has a crack squad of reporters at his service, in fact the best that money can buy, in case there is any malfeasance which needs to be investigated/reported on. They'll have full latitude, we can be sure. [eyeroll]

https://twitter.com/pierre/statuses/40977962277602509
0

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 28 10:00:25 2014

Okay, there is clearly wrong doing here.
Why was nothing done?

This is a joke how can this happen?

Omiydar, Andreesen, Cook became billionaires for doing exactly what this story is about.

Mr. Icahn, billionaire also, is correct however.

With this going on is ebay being investigated?

All of this money flying around and FVF raised and fees are being charged on shipping it is just wrong.
Contact this group to find out who to file a complaint with.

http://occupywallst.org/

I still believe that US ebay marketplaces will be in troubhe when 11main.com becomes live. That will change everything.

All of that moneey you need to be dishonest to get more.

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Fri Feb 28 12:25:58 2014

This war of words is not really about Ichan getting PayPal spun off or getting 2 of his employees placed on the eBay board.

This war of words is not about affording investors a better share value for PayPal.

This war of words is not about PayPal realizing it's full potential as a company separate from eBay or about growing PayPal's business.

And, this war of words is not about John Donahoe's poor leadership tools ( although Mr Ichan is spot on there).

What this war of words is about is enhancing eBay's current share value through careful manipulation of Wall Street.

As this war of words has played out, eBay shares have increased in value. For example, Pierre Omidyar has already made nearly half a billion dollars since this battle began. ( source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2014/02/27/ebay-founder-omid
yar-has-made-450-million-since-icahn-attack/
 )

No doubt, this little charade will play out for as long as the parties can keep it in the headlines and drive share values up. Once share values peak and level off, the billionaires will have a good laugh, take their profits and all the issues will come to a close.

What we are witnessing is a carefully orchestrated game where the rich get richer, and everyone else gets trampled in the billionaires stampede to greater wealth.

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Fri Feb 28 12:59:08 2014

This is more good cop, bad cop BS.

You are host bodies for parasites to feast off of.

Start your own marketplace today. Get a domain name and a shopping cart.

Do it TODAY and be ready for Christmas!

Good luck.

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Fri Feb 28 18:07:14 2014

Omidyar & Donahoe = Heckle & Jeckle

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

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

Fri Feb 28 18:48:51 2014

@ Ric-

I like your analysis very much. It's always about the money.

I hope Icahn can become "noise" and raise the issues that desperately need to be raised about The H's and his worthless BoD's greed irresponsible governance.

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 1 15:16:35 2014

This is a veering a little off topic, (related to my comment from yesterday),  but the authors here may get a kick out of it.


"On the Meaning of Journalistic Independence"

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/01/jou
rnalistic-independence/

*Check
out paragraph (3) LOL!

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sat Mar 1 18:21:15 2014

To amplify the information provided at brokentoys19 link above:

http://bit.ly/1gITRPl

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

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

Sat Mar 1 22:26:35 2014

Jeff Bezos, here's your chance to do a potentially Pulitzer investigative piece in the "Washington Post."

Do it.

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 2 18:57:57 2014

Wow! Billionaire hobby?

See if this doesn't send chills up your spine.

He funded predatory for-profit microloans that caused a wave of suicides in rural India.

"The Extraordinary Pierre Omidyar"

bit.ly/1dNENh5  

Perminate Link for eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument   eBay Chairman Pierre Omidyar Bolsters Icahn Argument

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sun Mar 2 20:09:39 2014

"Take SKS Microfinance, an Omidyar-backed Indian micro-lender whose predatory lending practices and aggressive collection tactics have caused a rash of suicides across India. "

"In 2012, it emerged that while the SKS IPO was making millions for its wealthy investors, hundreds of heavily indebted residents of India's Andhra Pradesh state were driven to despair and suicide by the company's cruel and aggressive debt-collection practices..."

"First they were stripped of their utensils, furniture, mobile phones, televisions, ration cards and heirloom gold jewelry. Then, some of them drank pesticide. One woman threw herself in a pond. Another jumped into a well with her children.

"Sometimes, the debt collectors watched nearby."

Anything sound familiar about this micro-lender's operational model?

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