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Google cancels anti-eBay bash

Tail between legs as rival yanks ads

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Tonight in Boston, home to eBay's annual seller conference, revolutionary-minded Google employees had planned on throwing an alcohol-fueled anti-eBay bash at a location sure to raise eyebrows on both sides of the Atlantic.

eBay refuses to adopt Google Checkout – a PayPal-like online payment service – and in protest, Google arranged a "Google Checkout Freedom Party" at Boston's Old South Meeting House, the site of a much earlier protest gathering.

"We'll use the same spot where revolutionaries launched the Boston Tea Party to celebrate freedom with free food, free drinks, free live music - even free massages," the Google Checkout Team wrote on the Official Google Checkout Blog.

But yesterday, after eBay removed all its ads from Google's US-based AdWords network, the Google team had a change of heart. "eBay Live attendees have plenty of activities to keep them busy this week in Boston, and we did not want to detract from that activity," read a new blog post. "After speaking with officials at eBay, we at Google agreed that it was better for us not to feature this event during the eBay Live! conference."

When contacted, Google commented in a we-decline-to-comment kind of way. "We don't comment on individual advertiser relationships or spending," said a spokesperson. "eBay has been a long time partner and we look forward to continuing our positive relationship."

When asked about eBay's decision to remove its Google ads, an eBay spokesperson said the move was merely "an experiment." "We often down things to ratchet up certain market efforts and ratchet down others," Hani Durzy told The Register. "Our primary job is to bring buyers to eBay sellers."

But the IDG News Service obtained some dirt, citing a source "familiar with the situation". According to the source, eBay's decision to yank the ads came from executives angry at the post on Google's Checkout blog.

You don't say.

Google introduced Checkout nearly a year ago, but eBay has not allowed its sellers to use the service. For online payments, eBay sellers must use PayPal, the service that eBay purchased in 2002. At Petition Online, more than 400 people have signed a petition asking eBay to adopt Checkout. ®

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