Watchdog exposes Google antics

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Watchdog exposes Google antics

An anonymous tipster who alerted the Australian competition watchdog about Ebay's proposal to force its users onto the Paypal payments system was none other than Google.

Ebay had applied to get immunity from prosecution under the Trade Practices Act ahead of the Paypal changes.

The watchdog had received a 38-page anonymous report from a whistleblower in which the move was dubbed 'anti-competitive'.

However, when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website printed the report it took David Bromage, a disgruntled Ebay user and model train enthusiast from Canberra only a few seconds to discover who the complaint was really made by.

Peering at the meta data in the downloaded submission, which was posted as a PDF document, he found this nugget: "Microsoft Word - 204481916_1_ACCC Submission by Google re eBay Public _2_.DOC".

The ACCC received the submission as a Word document, removed the author's name as requested, and converted the file into a PDF for posting on the website.

When Bromage started to tell world about Google's involvement, the document was pulled and has since been replaced by one less revealing. (c) 2010 Incisive Media

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