eBay.de’s compulsory PayPal policy under investigation

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eBay Germany laptopeBay is under investigation in Germany to test whether its new rule requiring new sellers to accept payments by PayPal online breaks competition law. As of Thursday, German sellers with fewer than 50 feedbacks are required to offer PayPal as a payment method: they are still permitted to offer other means of payment at the same time. The Bundeskartellamt (“federal cartel bureau”) is investigating whether the company is breaking German competition law.

A spokesman for the bureau said that complaints against eBay were piling up. German eBayers use direct bank transfer much more often than British or American buyers do, and so the imposition of this new rule has caused outrage, primarily because it’s imposing more fees on sellers. Commenters on the eBay Germany sellers’ forum were unimpressed: “well that’s enough reason for me to say goodbye”; “eBay gets less and less attractive”. Sellers who are saying in their listings that buyers must cover the PayPal fees are having those listings ended.

An eBay spokesperson said that the company was “convinced that the introduction of PayPal as one of several payment methods for sellers with fewer than 50 feedbacks, is legally unobjectionable”, and that it was in communication with the bureau to explain what benefits the new policy offered buyers and sellers.

Der Spiegel has more info (in German).

One Response

  1. When a company is desperate they’ll think of any means to separate sellers from more money. My question to John Donahoe “at the rate good sellers AND buyers are leaving Ebay, what are you going to do in the future when most of them are gone? Who will be left to nickle and dime then? Certainly not your diamond sellers – they’ll head for the hills!” 👿


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