Ebay drops Aussie Paypal monopoly

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Ebay drops Aussie Paypal monopoly

Australian Ebay sellers were celebrating victory after the online auction site waved the white flag and backed down from plans to ram Paypal down users’ throats.

The move came just as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) was in the final stages of deciding to halt the move anyway, pegging it as a threat to competition in the market.

Ebay finally gave it up after months of spinning a load of cobblers that the move, which would have made Paypal cash on delivery/pick-up the only methods available, was actually about upping security, and not lining its own pockets.

The fact that Paypal is owned by Ebay and charges rather large transaction fees made Ebay’s argument sound less than flimsy, and left Australian Ebay users seething.

Ebay didn’t help its case by comparing those who didn’t want to use Paypal to Heroin dealers.

After a strongly-worded draft notice by the ACCC, asking Ebay to cancel its plans, the auction site ridiculously suggested that the organisation was undermining consumer rights, but agreed to put plans on hold while the ACCC investigated further.

Just as the ACCC was set to make its final decision on the matter of whether Ebay’s move would indeed lessen competition in the online payments market and deny consumers choice, Ebay raised its hands in surrender.

The site’s VP, Simon Smith noted, "While we disagree with the ACCC's draft notice, we have decided to withdraw the notification to stop any further confusion and disruption among the Ebay community". By ‘disruption’ we assume Smith means Aussie’s boycotting and moving over to competitors.

One thing Ebay still refuses to back down on, however, is forcing all sellers to offer Paypal as a payment option.

Talking to the Sydney Morning Herald, chairman of the online users lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia, Dale Clapperton said Ebay should give sellers a choice of whether or not they want to use Paypal, noting that many wouldn’t want to because of extortionate fees and bad experiences.

"If Paypal is truly the best payment option, why does Ebay need to force people to do business with them?" he noted.

Still, the Aussie’s would do well to hold on to their victory. After all, a kangaroo in the hand is better than in the bush.
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