"Angry eBay sellers labelled the auction site "monolithic and dictatorial" at a conference convened today to help the competition regulator decide whether to allow eBay to force all sellers to use only PayPal for accepting electronic payments." from the Sydney Morning Herald
I added the news above as an update to this earlier post, in an effort to keep score on eBay's many legal and regulatory battles.
News today that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has told eBay to hold off their planned implementation of PayPal only on the eBay Australia site, has revealed a chink in eBay's armor. The once mighty eBay is having a tough time in the courts and with regulators of late.
While this announcement does not end this issue completely, it does prevent eBay from making this change as they had planned on June 17th. The ACCC will make their final ruling at a later date.
In the past eBay was the proverbial 800 lb. Gorilla in the courts and with government regulators, but over the past 6 months that has begun to change.
- First it was the settlement of the BuySafe vs. eBay trademark infringement suit which was filed in Nov. of 2006 and settled early last year.
- Then there was the decision in Feb of this year to settle the Patent Suit with MercExchange over the Buy it Now feature -In the good old days eBay never settled suits.
- Next there was the Suit and Counter suit of Craigslist.org that has yet to be resolved.
- Then the loss, in France, of the lawsuit over counterfeit product being sold on eBay, brought by French luxury brand Hermes.
- And now this move by the ACCC to delay and possibly disallow completely, eBay's proposed implementation of PayPal only on the eBay Australia site.
I wrote a post in late 2006 entitled How Do You Beat eBay? One Category at a Time which dealt with how competitors couldn't beat eBay head on, but over time, they could whittle away at their business one category at a time. It appears the same thing goes for lawsuits and regulatory fights.
The concept is also called "Death by a Thousand Cuts"and as eBay begins to look vulnerable from court and regulatory losses as well as increased competition, the sharks begin to circle.
eBay is fighting battles on multiple fronts right now; in the courts; in government offices; with buyers and sellers and with competition. And they are fighting these battles as they restructure their core Marketplace business. eBay is vulnerable right now and it doesn't look good for the future.
For too many years eBay used their considerable size and position as the top ecommerce marketplace to beat everyone into submission and improve their advantage.; often to the detriment of their own customers (sellers). Now, it appears, they are having to pay for that approach and even investors are starting to get concerned.
How does the saying go? "Karma's a Bitch"
I do believe they can turn around their fortunes but not with the direction they have taken, but who listens to me.
Just my 12%