Despite backdown, is eBay still flouting Australian law with PayPal?
Stage 2 was to see buyers being forced to use Paypal, pay via Mastercard or Visa through PayPal, or pay via cash on physically picking up the goods.
Now that eBay has withdrawn its notice to the ACCC requesting its blessing to allow this plan to proceed, eBay still believes it has received an ACCC blessing to allow the enactment of stage 1 of its plan.
This is evident through an interview eBay Australian CEO Simon Smith conducted with business news website “The Sheet”.
Here The Sheet says “One aspect of the company’s plan remains. eBay requires all sellers to offer PayPal as a payment choice on eBay.com.au along with other permitted payment methods of their choosing” which is followed up a little later with: “eBay Australia’s chief executive Simon Smith said the company was pleased the ACCC accepted one part of the project: the requirement for all eBay sellers to offer PayPal as a payment option.”
Smith is also quoted to have said: “The draft notice wasn’t what we expected and it took us a while to digest it. We decided that if we were to go forward that process was likely to be long and drawn out, so we concluded that it was better to end the confusion here and withdraw the notification now.”
Unfortunately the confusion appears to still be with us, as Smith’s assertion that eBay has had ACCC acceptance for eBay sellers to offer PayPal as a payment option, clearly whether they want to or not, still seems to raise serious questions over whether this is anti-competitive behaviour and suggests that the ACCC could still make a formal determination despite the withdrawal by eBay.
After all, one need only read closely the text of the ACCC’s draft notice concerning the matter.
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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.