Net Neutrality Debate: eBay Seeks a Better Deal for Itself Than for Its Users, Says Industry Analyst

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eBay rose to become one of the leading Internet giants by fostering an online auction community based upon the principles of free and open competition. Yet the recent e-mail from CEO Meg Whitman to the eBay community urging support for net neutrality legislation advocates for a new, government regulated marketplace for online access. NETCompetition.org Chairman Scott Cleland wonders about eBay’s real motives: “Could it be that eBay is focused on getting a better bandwidth deal for eBay without consideration for their millions of users?”

http://www.NETCompetition.org Chairman Scott Cleland believes it’s time to closely examine the political and economic motives behind the e-commerce giants’ support of restrictive and cumbersome net neutrality legislation.

“eBay and the Internet giant elites do business in the rarified air of 80 to 100% gross profit margins. If the company truly looked at the world through its earthbound users' eyes, it would see that eBay users have long toiled away in the "two-tiered" Internet world that they look upon with such disdain” says Cleland.

In his blog post (http://www.netcompetition.org/docs/eforum/?q=node/22), Cleland concludes that eBay should know that its users have long had the competitive choice of using the slow-lane, "dirt road" of dial-up (still used by ~35 million American households), and the faster lanes of different types of broadband (now used by over 37 million American households.)

Today’s Internet users live in a competitive world and pay the competitive rate for bandwidth every day. According to Cleland, this competitive multi-tier world which eBay looks down upon - actually serves consumers and eBay users quite well - providing more access choices, faster speeds, and more mobile access to the Internet than ever before. Cleland continues: “eBay users know if they want more bandwidth available they can choose to buy it. In many instances dial-up users transitioning to broadband are paying less than they did for their dial-up. All of eBay's users seem to manage just fine without a regulated rate for bandwidth. Why is eBay so scared of competition?”

About NETCompetion.org

NETCompeition.org is an e-forum created to promote a rigorous debate on the merits of network neutrality legislation and regulation. NETCompetition.org is funded by a wide range of broadband telecom, cable, and wireless companies who believe the best way to guard a free and independent Internet is free and open competition, not more government control of the Internet. To learn more about NETCompeition.org and network neutrality visit: http://www.netcompetition.org.

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Allen Abney
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