In a filing with the SEC on Wednesday, PayPal revealed more details about the agreements it will enter into with eBay once the two split.
eBay and PayPal will be two separate companies, with two separate stocks, but the operating agreement ties them at the hip - key for sellers: eBay must continue to offer PayPal and the two companies can't compete with each other.
The main operating agreement will be in effect for 5 years and can be renewed thereafter on an annual basis.
Under the agreement, PayPal will provide payment processing and credit services to eBay.com and eBay Marketplaces customers, but the agreement won't apply to other eBay properties, such as StubHub, eBay Enterprise, Magento, Classifieds, eBay Motors, Shopping.com, Gmarket, Half.com or eBay Local. (eBay could already be planning to sell those properties; it already said it was looking to split off eBay Enterprise in some fashion.)
The operating agreement will require PayPal to offer eBay merchants pricing in line with rates charged to comparable merchants, as defined in the agreement. "Therefore, the PayPal rates for eBay merchants will remain largely consistent with today's pricing relationship."
And clearly PayPal is concerned that eBay could do what Etsy and other marketplaces have done - offer a solution in which shoppers pay the marketplace, which then pays the seller (i.e., Etsy Direct Checkout): the operating agreement prohibits eBay from declaring itself as the single merchant of record for transactions.
There's one exception to that restriction: if PayPal is acquired "by certain specified companies." Those companies aren't named in Wednesday's filing, but it's sure to include eBay competitors.
eBay will also be prohibited from competing with PayPal - and vice versa.
"Subject to certain exceptions, eBay and its controlled affiliates will be prohibited from directly or indirectly engaging in the business of marketing, distributing, promoting or selling its own proprietary payment solutions for use on the eBay Covered Properties, and PayPal and its controlled affiliates will be prohibited from directly or indirectly engaging in the business of marketing, distributing, promoting or selling its own proprietary marketplace offerings. These restrictions will continue for the term of the operating agreement."
So, are eBay sellers happy knowing they will be able to continue to use PayPal, or were they hoping the breakup would give them more options when it comes to payment services? Let us know what you think.