Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon July 25 2016 20:56:53

Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

By: Ina Steiner

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A new report from Citi Research says eBay could be an attractive acquisition, inspired perhaps by today's news that Verizon will acquire Yahoo. The Wall Street firm cites eBay's strong brand, its 164 million active online shoppers, attractive margins, and some investment numbers (ROIC and free cash flow). 

eBay also has a global presence (it points to the fact that a significant amount of eBay's top sellers reside in China).

"We believe a wide range of companies could potential have an interest in acquiring eBay, including foreign eCommerce companies with an interest in expanding their global footprint (e.g., Alibaba), digital media companies interested in adding transactional capabilities to their media properties (e.g., Alphabet), incumbents in both media and retail looking to strengthen their digital footprint (e.g., Wal-Mart), and private equity companies, among others." (Note that Alphabet is the new name of Google's parent company.)

Interestingly, Citi's Mark May doesn't mention any payments companies, but given eBay has split with PayPal, with whom it had synergies, mightn't that be more likely than an existing retailer like Walmart?

While it's always fun to play the M&A game - who might buy whom? - it could have serious repercussions for eBay sellers. We blogged about this possibility earlier this year, when sellers had some interesting thoughts. Alibaba was seen as a likely acquirer by some, one even suggested Amazon could eliminate one of its largest competitors through an eBay acquisition.

For companies who might be considering an acquisition of eBay, what would you tell them?

And is there any particular company you'd like to see acquire eBay?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Mon Jul 25 21:34:05 2016

China and Ebay... Disaster to even mention it. If Alibaba were to buy Ebay it would close up overnight, imo. To be Honest.. westerners do not like China.. a fact that I am sure Alibaba is aware of. not saying we do not but their products :-).  Alibaba is also required to answer to the communist party if they ask, so in the end Ebay would belong to the Communist party.

Walmart or Google? not sure. Not thrilled with walmart that much myself - not sure i would do business with them if they bought Ebay. Google has enough money.. sick of looking at them ..personally.

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Mon Jul 25 21:40:53 2016

Ebay very well may be unsaleable unless a fire sale prices with all the baggage it would involve. Or the buyers would need to be unknown. A lot of sellers also dislike Amazon with a passion.  

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 25 22:59:06 2016

If Ebay keeps up the way it is going it will be sold for scrap and dismantled by the chinese in the near future.

We will wake up one day and find out that Ebay was sold as scrap and closed down. Think it can't happen. THINK AGAIN.

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jul 26 00:12:13 2016

A few years back I thought eBay should've bought Fedex.

Now Fedex has grown to more then double it's previous size I now think Fedex should buy eBay!

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

by: Gemz This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 02:14:59 2016

Anyone except the Chinese would be great! They could (and would) completely clean house. Get rid of everyone from the management down to the customer service reps. Put in their own people with their own values and change the company for the better. I'll say one thing... No matter who buys it, NO WAY could they make it any worse than what has been going on there over the last 6-8 years! In addition, a company with deep pockets wouldn't be so "shark-like" to hunt down and strike the sellers like Ebay does now. If you don't make most of your money from the main company like Ebay does, then it doesn't need to squeeze the sellers until there is nothing left to take. They can also return the search engine back to the days when you list something and it gets in front of people! Not just the ones that spend the most money on Ebay fees and listing volume! The jewelry area is a prime example of that! List a diamond and good luck finding it until a few days from the day you listed it! They want to put Blue Nile and a bunch of others that spend big money with them (even if they don't pay for their listing fees) first! I have been hoping for the day someone would come along and clean house and now it seems like it may be a reality! GO GOOGLE GO!  

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 03:16:17 2016

I'm afraid that Google would do even more experimenting than ebay and Walmart would try to lower prices even more than they already are.

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Jul 26 05:06:56 2016

I think eBay should be put up for sale by auction at a suggested starting price of .99 cents. Also suggest eBay add at least 3 or more pictures and don't forget to include those product identifiers.

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jul 26 06:55:29 2016

I feel that eBay is done regardless of whether anyone buys it or not. Any company who buys it will have their own self-interests in mind and won't be looking out for those who built eBay from the ground up (yes, I'm talking about the small sellers).

Alibaba's or Walmart's
acquisition would surely be a death blow.  A Google acquisition would like only add more hoops to jump through.

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 07:40:53 2016

Makes sense to attract a buyer, because ever since Devin Wenig took over, he's talked up eBay to look like an exciting brand. But, he's actually not done anything, except maintain the John Donahoe plan.  

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

by: ORourkecut This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jul 26 08:53:26 2016

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit
     
Tue Jul 26 05:06:56 2016
I think eBay should be put up for sale by auction at a suggested starting price of .99 cents. Also suggest eBay add at least 3 or more pictures and don't forget to include those product identifiers.
Plus free shipping

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 09:38:09 2016

Considering what Alibaba did with 11main  I would not like them to buy ebay. I spent months working on 11main they were really picky and difficult to work with but my sales were 2-3000 a month, then they sell to that scam open sky. I still have overstock from that fiasco.
If anyone bought ebay, I prefer it to be non china sellers, not walmart, amazon, google or anyone who could close it or ruin it even further. Although Fedex is an interesting idea. I would never say it could not get worse at ebay, I think it could.

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jul 26 10:23:45 2016

eBay is for sale!

Today's price is just over $35 Billion

A hostile buy would drive the price even higher, possibly over $40 Billion. . .

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jul 26 11:17:21 2016

Do I dare say that Amazon might buy Fedex!

Amazon is seeking to make it's mark in the delivery service, what better way to do this then to buy Fedex or UPS?

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

by: wallflower This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 11:53:24 2016

Do you think that would be the end of auctions? I can't see Walmart supporting auctions.

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

by: b86fiero This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 14:53:31 2016

Why not a purchase by Donald Trump?

As a Trump asset we could expect a wall to be built around it to keep those pesky foreigners away.

Just kidding..........  

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 16:39:54 2016

Google might do ok, but alibaba might as well pack it up if you arent a lying cheating chinese seller.

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Tue Jul 26 18:29:09 2016

It does not matter who acquires eBay. The sellers have no voice nor opinion in the matter.

Guaranteed, the new management team will make significant changes which further piss-off sellers. Seriously, start looking at histories of A&M, most were failures except for the banking companies (except where the banking companies merged) and the top tier executives.

Having lived through acquisitions of employers by other entities from General Foods through Oxford Health Plans, nothing ever goes as planned and certainly not as rosy as everyone hopes it would be.

Probably the last good merger was RCA and General Motors. But that occurred in a rapidly growing industry. eBay's industry is not really growing with small/medium sized companies with good products. You have eBay, Amazon, and a few others eBid, DelCampe, the former 11Main and a few which advertise on late night TV.

It would be rolling the dice & hoping that the acquiring organization would make things better for you - a Hail Mary, if you will.

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

by: phantom This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 27 00:33:13 2016

I suspect that eBay, without any notice will pull the plug just before the Holidays.  That is just after seller have beefed up their inventory for the holiday season. F'd by ebay again.  

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 27 08:40:17 2016

Lets face it , ebay is cheap like china , great fit , let em have it.

Perminate Link for Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?   Could Alibaba, Google, or Walmart Bid on eBay?

by: globalhistory This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 29 06:52:53 2016

Google, no doubt. Imagine all the exposure possibilities.



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