Angry Aussie sellers confront eBay over PayPal-only policy

EBay sellers lashed out at an executive of eBay Australia over the company's decision requiring them to only use PayPal, a company owned by eBay, for electronic payment services, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Australian newspaper said eBay sellers called the auction site "monolithic and dictatorial." The confrontation came at a conference held by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), a competition watchdog agency, which must decide whether to allow eBay to institute its controversial policy.

EBay's plan, which was set to go into effect on June 17, was scuttled by the ACCC, which said the plan would reduce competition in the online payments market and reduce consumer choice. EBay, however, has argued that using its PayPal method will cut down on fraud.

Although eBay's plan would allow sellers to accept cash on delivery or when items were picked up, it would no longer permit sellers to accept direct bank deposits, checks or money orders. The new plan also would require sellers to pay fees to PayPal Australia Pty. in addition to the fees it pays to eBay.

The conference was held so the ACCC could hear the views of eBay and the sellers before making its final decision. According to the report, eBay Australia managing director Simon Smith read from a prepared statement and wouldn't take questions.

EBay could not be reached for comment.

The ACCC is accepting public comment until Thursday, and will make a final decision later, the report said.

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