Sunday, June 29, 2008

Murdoch Is Against Protecting Consumers

The ACCC is today hearing grievances against EBay's plans to force users and sellers to use PayPal as the only transaction method. The Murdoch WSJ editorializes:
EBay is an Internet company that has found a way to make money by offering a product -- its online auction platform -- that hadn't existed before. So quick, someone fetch the antitrust regulators.
WSJ says consumers Down Under have "plenty of choices of where to trade their goods online". Like what? The Trading Post does not cater to regional areas, and charges ridiculous fees for posting ads. WSJ also lists "an offshoot of telecommunications giant Telstra, Gray'sOnline Auctions, Oztion and several other smaller operators". Not exactly big competition for Ebay, is it?
The Commission's investigation smacks of a basic misunderstanding of how market competition really works.

The Commission's draft finding is also anti-innovation, since eBay's experiment with a new business model is also at stake here.
Bullshit. EBay is building a comfortable monopoly in the Australian online trading space, and getting greedy to boot.

The ACCC sat twiddling its thumbs while the current financial crisis unraveled. It has proved ineffective in combating relentless oil price gouging. Finally it does something to justify its existence... and Murdoch jumps on it? Gimme a break.