The Australian Competition watchdog has released a draft notice removing Ebay's immunity to consumer laws with regard to forcing Ebay sellers to use Paypal exclusively.
The ACCC considers that:
1. eBay holds a substantial degree of power in the supply of online marketplaces in
2. the notified conduct allows eBay to leverage that power into the market in which
3. the notified conduct has, or is likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening
competition in the market in which PayPal operates.
I believe the ACCC has shown fair and good judgement in this matter.
The danger of any such monopoly is obvious. By all means succeed in dominating through delivering a good product, but don't just get big through being the first mover and then force your customers to use one of your acquisitions.
Next thing we'd have software makers telling us what brand of computer we had to buy, and car manufacturers forcing us to buy their branded petrol.
Paypal would really have had no incentive to improve services, and therefore the value of the ebay brand, if they had their monopoly delivered to them on a plate.
The lack of judgement shown in this misguided action really should be a wake-up call to the ebay shareholders and board. I know I'd be looking very closely at where the company is heading and exactly who is doing the mis-leading.