On eBay vs. Google

Perhaps some of you have been following the story about Google and eBay's fight over advertising. Google is upset that eBay doesn't allow the use of Google Checkout - which is pretty obvious considering that eBay owns PayPal these days. So Google decided to throw a "Let Freedom Ring" party whose purpose was to induce people to complain to eBay about not being able to use Google's competing payment service to make eBay auction payments - on the same day that eBay was holding their annual "user celebration" (whatever the hell that is.) eBay, in a fit of childishness which even exceeded Google's planning, petulantly withdrew all advertising from Google. Since, they have apparently kissed and made up. But some of the sound bites (or in this case, quotes) from the incident are absolutely hilarious. These are the bits that made me laugh:
EBay spokesperson Hani Durzy said the experiment proved that eBay didn't need to spend as much on Google ads, which generally run to the right of Google's regular search results. Durzy wouldn't provide dollar or percentage figures but said that eBay's pullback from AdWords in the United States would be "significant." "Overall the takeaway for us was that we weren't as dependent on AdWords as some out there may have thought," Durzy said.
Note that Google maintains a pretty high level of secrecy about the AdWords program, and they don't actually like people talking about dollar amounts. I wouldn't be surprised if secrecy is mandated by the contract. Anyway, the following conclusion to the article (not a quote so much as an excerpt) is the kicker that really makes the above text shine for me:
EBay shares rose 63 cents, or 2 per cent, to $31.76 in trading Friday, while Google was up $10.87, or 2 per cent, to $524.98.
Absolute hilarity! Sounds to me like eBay needs Google more than vice versa. People have long speculated (including myself) about Google's potential for an entry into the auction market; they are probably the only contenders that could credibly challenge eBay. If they did, I can say for myself that I would definitely list my items with Google - eBay is simply too much of a PITA. Their interface, in particular, is completely atrocious - and that's something we know Google knows how to get right.

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