Australian Regulator Drops eBay Investigation as Company Expands Payment Options

May 20, 2010 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which had been investigating the Australian subsidiaries of eBay Inc. in connection with anti-competitive practices, dropped the probe after the company removed the requirement that sellers offer PayPal as a payment option. The ACCC had been investigating complaints that eBay and its Australian subsidiaries, eBay Australia and New Zealand Pty Ltd and PayPal Australia Pty Ltd, may have violated the Trade Practices Act 1974. eBay will now expand the range of payment methods, drop some fees and simplify the selling process for new users. Under pressure from the regulators, starting July 14, eBay will require sellers to offer at least one of three payment methods: PayPal,   Paymate or credit cards. “The ACCC 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,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said. The ACCC said while “it has decided to discontinue its current inquiries into eBay’s payment policies,…this does not restrict the ACCC from reviewing the effects of eBay or PayPal’s conduct in Australia if it raises competition concerns in the future.