The latest news from the Internet super brands arena is that eBay has been in talks with Yahoo! and Microsoft to assess the growing threat from Google.
A Times Online article cites a concern that Google has turned aggressive and is wielding it’s pocket full of cash in a dangerous way, buying and developing technologies that bring competition to each of the others on various levels, from GoogleTalk, to Google Calendar.
There is a sophisticated undercurrent here as each squares off against the next. There is no confirmation from eBay as to whether these alliances are official – they are actually playing the whole scenario down – but then, in real terms they have to.
Of the four companies, eBay is the only one that relies on the others for a large percentage of its revenue – as all three are the drivers of traffic to the auction site. In the UK Google is the favoured search engine for 75% of web users, while MSN and Yahoo! take less than 10% each according to recent figures.
Whether eBay are forging alliances or not – when you consider the market share, a story like this one in The Times suggests a case of ‘biting the hand that feeds,’ which is definitely bad news for the auction site.