I have been reporting on, over the last several weeks, the tenuous "collaborative competition" Google and eBay have been fostering as the two powerhouses seek to grow by entering each other's core markets (see story links below):
While Google and eBay rollout the new, competing services, however, each company asserts that it is not in competition with the other. Each company has a vested interest in keeping the other as an ally, while they become competitors; eBay is one of Google’s largest AdWords customers and, as such, Google delivers much traffic to eBay, in exchange for much money from eBay.
Both Meg Whitman, eBay CEO, and Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, in fact, have taken pains to stress they are "the best of friends"; Whitman says, Google "is both a competitor and one of our best relationships" and her and Schmidt (a Princeton classmate) speak several times a month.
Given eBay's determination that Google Checkout is "not permitted" at eBay, (Google vs. eBay: collaborative competition? ), however, the next Whitman-Schmidt conversation may be uncomfortable. For now, company spokespeople have been the only ones talking publicly.
From time to time, as new payment services arise, eBay will evaluate them to determine whether they are appropriate for the marketplace. Payment services that are not permitted on eBay may, in fact, be outstanding services for consumers in other contexts. eBay’s evaluation relates only to whether a particular service is appropriate for the eBay marketplace.
Google Checkout...is designed to make online shopping faster, more convenient and more secure for Google users. We rigorously tested this new service before launch and have used this same service to process Google Video, Google Earth, Google Base and Google Store transactions for months.
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