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eBay – Biting the Hand That Feeds

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.

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