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eBay Australia faces competition probe

PayPal only policy backfires

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eBay Australia's decision to only accept PayPal, which it owns, is being investigated by Aussie competition regulators.

eBay Australia will force sellers to accept PayPal, and PayPal only, from 17 June. The decision has met with outrage from users of the site Down Under and is being closely watched because it is expected to be rolled out across the world if successful.

eBay UK has not commented on the matter, but the UK site told sellers last month that they must offer PayPal as one payment method.

The online tat bazaar claims the Australian decision is driven by security, but it has written to the Australian Competition Commission asking to be excluded from the Trade Practices Act.

It is possible the decision would fall foul of European regulators too. Competition authorities may decide that eBay is using its dominance of one market, online auctions, to gain leverage in another - online payments.

The move to PayPal only has not gone down well with eBay's Aussie users, already alienated by other changes to the auctioneer's Ts&Cs. In February, sellers staged a week long boycott of the site. ®

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