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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Weekend Edition: eBay 1, Google 0

Stock: (EBAY)(GOOG)

According to a report at MarketWatch, consumers are having trouble using the new Google Checkout online payment system, the program that was going to devastate eBay's market leading PayPal. Apparently, the Google software has technical problems. MarketWatch added that a survey of 40 online retailers by Piper Jaffray found that 81% of them would not use the new Google product.

Google announced an alliance with eBay just days ago. The search giant will offer advertising on eBay auctions sites outside the US. The arrangement shows how large internet companies have created complex relationships with one another, operating both in cooperation and as competitors.

PayPay is eBay's fastest growing unit according to its 10-Q. Any severe market share lose to the Google product would damage eBay's growth.

eBay's stock has been hurt badly by perceptions that its domestic growth has slowed, by concerns that it paid too much for VoIP giant Skype, and that Google Checkout could take share from PayPal. As a consequence, eBay's stock has dropped from its 52-week high of $47.86 to $28.45.

Perhaps there is evidence emerging that concerns about eBay are overblown.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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