ACCC investigates eBay

eBay Australia has filed an exclusive deal notification with the ACCC requesting immunity from the Trade Practices Act

Late last week eBay Australia announced plans to introduce a new payment arrangement whereby users would only be able to pay for items via Paypal or C.O.D. See story here

The move was to be trialled in Australia from June 17, with the aims of making it a global policy. eBay cites enhanced buyer security as the main reason for the move, however eBay users and sellers are up in arms, believing the eBay owned Pay Pal service will simply be lining the company’s already considerable coffers…

The day after making the announcement, legal firm, Deacon, filed an ‘exclusive dealing notification’ with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on behalf of eBay Australia requesting immunity from the Trade Practices Act.

Section 47 of the Act prohibits exclusive dealing which broadly involves one trader imposing restrictions on another’s freedom to choose with whom, in what or where it deals.

In documents filed with the ACCC, eBay has argued that its PayPal only policy would not lessen competition and that the procedures were for the sake of customer security.

It is the ACCC’s policy to grant immediate immunity from the date the notification is validly lodged.

An ACCC spokeman speaking with news .com said “The regulator is expected to post a notice on its public register this week and interested parties can make submissions. The public will have until May 2 to provide submissions.