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eBay is not Neutral: eBay using Paypal to fight off Google's Checkout

In my ongoing "hypocrisy watch" service, eBay is back in the news again not being neutral at the same time they are pleading to Congress to pass a law forcing their broadband competitors to be neutral. The recent Forbes article "Why so Worried?" reminds everyone about how in July eBay banned the use of Google's Checkout, a competitor to eBay's PayPal.

  • According to the article, eBay upped the ante in the fight with Google's checkout last week when it decreed that new eBay sellers must offer Paypal or credit cards for payment. It further turns up the heat by requiring that you must be PayPal -certified to sell cross-borders and to get $2k in listings insurance.
    • The article implies eBay is worried about Checkout hurting PayPal's revenues and hence eBay's stock price.    
  • Google has not been neutral either. Reportedly, Google subsidized its competitive checkout service with $20m in 4Q06 by paying transaction fees and promotional discounts. It appears Google's is not afraid to be anything but neutral and leverage its emerging dominance in search to pry open and buy share in the online financial transactions marketplace.

I blogged on this topic twice before, in July I defended eBay's right to competitively differentiate and be hypocritical, and in Decmber I blogged on how Google was not abiding by neutrality principles with it's Checkout competitive tactics.  

Why this is relevant is that Google and eBay and their ItsOurNet allies are blatantly manipulating the political and regulatory process by claiming that net neutrality behavior is absolutely necessary for their competitors, but not important enough that they should abide by the same principles.

  • If it is net neutrality principles are truly important for the future of the Internet and consumers, why won't Google, eBay, Yahoo, Amazon and Microsoft pledge to abide by the same law they want passed for their competitors? 
  • If net neutrality does not also apply to them, isn't it just corporate welfare and protectionism?