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eBay bows to Saint Bob over Live 8

'Fundamental right' goes wrong

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EBay has decided that the capitalist highroad might not be the best path to take in the debate over online Live 8 concert ticket sales.

The auction site has worked to pull all sales of Live 8 tickets after first saying it was a consumer's right to try and get the best price for such a possession. People sent in more than 2m text messages, hoping to win a spot at the charity concert to be held next month London's Hyde Park. Hundreds of lucky winners put their tickets on eBay with some looking for close to $1,000 per ticket.

Earlier today, eBay scoffed at the notion that it should remove the tickets, saying it would gladly donate the pennies in fees generated from any Live 8 ticket sales to the effort.

"eBay believes it is a fundamental right for someone to be able to sell something that is theirs whether they paid for it or won it in a competition," a spokeswoman said.

That position, however, changed over the course of Tuesday. Live 8 organizer Bob Geldof called for a week-long boycott against the site. He argued that eBay was "profiteering on the backs of the impoverished" by cashing in on the show meant to lessen poverty in Africa.

"The bottom line is that we've listened carefully to our customers over the last few days. Overwhelmingly the voice is that they would like us to take down the listing, so we are going to do our best to do that," eBay's MD Doug McCallum told Britain's ITV television, according to numerous reports. ®

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