The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has dropped its antitrust probe of the local subsidiary of eBay Inc. after the online auction site said it would remove a requirement that sellers offer PayPal as a payment option, the regulator announced recently. PayPal is eBay’s online-payment unit.
EBay Inc. in 2008 mandated that all transactions made through its Australian site be paid for using PayPal or cash on pickup. It also required sellers using its site to offer PayPal as a payment option.
The commission then began investigating eBay’s two local subsidiaries, eBay Australia and PayPal Australia Pty Ltd., for alleged anticompetitive practices. It also investigated New Zealand Pty Ltd., which represents eBay’s interests in the two countries.
Though eBay immediately removed its first order that all transactions made through its Australian site be paid for using PayPal or cash on pickup after the regulator intervened (see story), it did not drop the requirement that sellers offer PayPal as a payment option.
Ebay now has done so.
“The [commission] welcomes the action taken by eBay, which gives eBay sellers further choice as to the payment system they use while ensuring consumers are offered safer payment options by all eBay sellers,” commission Chairman Graeme Samuel said in the statement.