eBay Germany faces PayPal probe

Ich nichten lichten


eBay Germany is being investigated by competition authorities concerned that its tying of PayPal to certain eBay purchases is in breach of consumer law.

eBay.de recently asked sellers with low feedback points to offer PayPal. The company justified the move because it said the number of bad buying experiences is twice as high from sellers with less than 50 feedback points than the average.

But the German Federal Cartel Office is investigating complaints made against eBay over this tying policy.

The FCO said it had yet to launch a full investigation but was looking into the complaints. The regulator noted that the rule change meant sellers were charged an extra 1.9 per cent on sales made.

eBay said: "We are in contact with the FCO regarding their notification to look into the new level of protection which we are introducing to our marketplace for our buyers. We appreciate the opportunity to get into further dialogue with the FCO around the initiative.

"We are convinced that asking sellers with few feedback points to offer PayPal as one payment option on eBay alongside further payment methods is to the benefit of both our buyers and sellers and legally completely unobjectionable."

eBay has already got into trouble in Australia where it tried to force almost all transactions to go through PayPal. Users were unimpressed, as were Ozzie consumer protection groups, and eBay performed a swift U-turn. Similar moves in the US also went down badly. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • World’s smallest remote-controlled robots are smaller than a flea
    So small, you can't feel it crawl

    Video Robot boffins have revealed they've created a half-millimeter wide remote-controlled walking robot that resembles a crab, and hope it will one day perform tasks in tiny crevices.

    In a paper published in the journal Science Robotics , the boffins said they had in mind applications like minimally invasive surgery or manipulation of cells or tissue in biological research.

    With a round tick-like body and 10 protruding legs, the smaller-than-a-flea robot crab can bend, twist, crawl, walk, turn and even jump. The machines can move at an average speed of half their body length per second - a huge challenge at such a small scale, said the boffins.

    Continue reading
  • IBM-powered Mayflower robo-ship once again tries to cross Atlantic
    Whaddayaknow? It's made it more than halfway to America

    The autonomous Mayflower ship is making another attempt at a transatlantic journey from the UK to the US, after engineers hauled the vessel to port and fixed a technical glitch. 

    Built by ProMare, a non-profit organization focused on marine research, and IBM, the Mayflower set sail on April 28, beginning its over 3,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. But after less than two weeks, the crewless ship broke down and was brought back to port in Horta in the Azores, 850 miles off the coast of Portugal, for engineers to inspect.

    With no humans onboard, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) can only rely on its numerous cameras, sensors, equipment controllers, and various bits of hardware running machine-learning algorithms to survive. The computer-vision software helps it navigate through choppy waters and avoid objects that may be in its path.

    Continue reading
  • Revealed: The semi-secret list of techs Beijing really really wishes it didn't have to import
    I think we can all agree that China is not alone in wishing it had an alternative to Microsoft Windows

    China has identified "chokepoints" that leave it dependent on foreign countries for key technologies, and the US-based Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) claims to have translated and published key document that name the technologies about which Beijing is most worried.

    CSET considered 35 articles published in Science and Technology Daily from April until July 2018. Each story detailed a different “chokepoint” or tech import dependency that China faces. The pieces are complete with insights from Chinese academics, industry insiders and other experts.

    CSET said the items, which offer a rare admission of economic and technological vulnerability , have hitherto “largely unnoticed in the non-Chinese speaking world.”

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022