eBay refuse be drawn at ACCC conference

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Simon Smith, MD of eBay Australia, refused to be drawn into arguments at today’s ACCC conference held to discuss PayPal only on eBay.com.au. Sellers argued that PayPal isn’t safer than other payment methods and that “It is the Australian way to support having choices

Whilst sellers were more than happy to air their opinions, Smith read a prepared statement and declined to enter into the heated discussion. I’m guessing that was in all likelihood a stipulation made by eBay’s legal team, who may still decide to challenge an adverse ACCC decision in the courts.

Reports say that only sellers voiced opinions at the conference, and it appears that Google had nothing to say in person following the revelation that Google authored an anonymous submission to the ACCC.

4 Responses

  1. Will be glad when it is ovr and done with.
    Im quite sure that ebay will get around it and if they dont they will make sellers suffer another way.

    We know they cant do it in Usa but who knows with Australia.
    You have to give the aussies credit for all the work they have put in to fight it.

    Im going to try and wok with some of the aussies on that other site they have made available for Usa sellers to use as well.
    If they have the same amount of drive with the bang4bucks site in Australia as they have had with fighting the ACC well maybe there is a chance.

    Go the Australians keep it up you make us all proud of fighting the corporate giants

  2. “eBay Australia managing director Simon Smith, visibly frustrated by the number of barbs fired in his direction, read from a prepared statement and would not answer any further questions.”

    Well, that pretty much sums up Simon Smith’s management style right there. Make a statement, stonewall and refuse to participate in discussion, and then look frustrated and confused when people are upset. I’m quite surprised that he actually went on the recent meetings around Australia to talk to sellers, actually, where he compared sellers who prefer not to offer PayPal to heroin dealers.

    Then again, perhaps it’s best for him if he does just read a statement and then be quiet… It might prevent him from saying that consumers aren’t smart enough to figure out what sort of payment method they want to use (there, there, little consumer, don’t worry your little head about it, you just let Daddy eBay take care of all this confusing payment business, okay?), or comparing sellers (i.e., eBay’s own customers) to drug dealers…

    eBay are getting around this by making it a violation to say you prefer payment by any method other than PayPal. Many sellers have had their listings pulled and their buyers notified that they shouldn’t do business with the seller, who has “asked for an unsafe payment method” or something along those lines, making it appear that the seller is dodgy. Of course you can still say that you prefer PayPal…

  3. Well well well. Ebay has withdrawn it’s Paypal only from the ACCC, as of 11.30am 3.7.08, Australian time

    S’cuse me while I do a little victory dance. Or run around the room like a maniac.

    Has Ebay ever backed down on a big issue like this before, without being forced to do so by a court or law or government authority? I mean, we all knew where this was heading anyway, but at least it didn’t end up in courts of appeal and dragging on forever.


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