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Microsoft in Talks To Acquire Ebay

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the jigga-whaaaa dept.

235

thatedeguy writes "The NY Post is reporting that Microsoft and Ebay are in talks for the online auction house to join the Microsoft family." That said, the talks aren't going that well at the moment. From the article: " Sources indicate that the talks, while still active, have cooled somewhat in the last two weeks as executives considered antitrust issues. It is unclear what the full impact of yesterday's advertising and search alliance between Yahoo! and eBay will be for talks between MSN and eBay. One source close to the matter suggested the Yahoo-eBay tie-up would not stop Microsoft from pursuing the online auctioneer."

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mmmm monopolies... (4, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415434)

With MS already in trouble over abuse of market share, I can't see any anti-monopoly commission approving a buyout of this size.

Re:mmmm monopolies... (3, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415456)

You make it sound like any anti-monopoly commission has any power in America.

Re:mmmm monopolies... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415714)

Has anybody told you that you are a faggot? I will. Faggot.

Re:mmmm monopolies... (1, Interesting)

packetmon (977047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415470)

A lot of lobbying money goes a long way. Right now Google is doing what Microsoft was sued for. If MS played its political cards correctly they'd be able to pull it off (the purchase of eBay). The problem with so called commissions and appointees judging what's right and wrong is that they can often be tainted with money and political influence. MS has deep reaches in Washington hence them getting away with e-Murder for years. What I find to be unmentioned is the foreign take on this. When it comes to matters such as corporations buying each other, I see little foreign intervention. I wonder how many "strawman" companies are under control of American interests end up coming back and buying out a company under a diff name. (Apologies if the explanation seems confusing...) MS tries to buy Company Z. Antitrust worries won't allow it. MS buys Company X in Europe. Company X buys Company Z. Company Z is liquidated back into MS. Happens all the time.

Re:mmmm monopolies... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415515)

Right now Google is doing what Microsoft was sued for.

Really? What precisely is google doing now that Microsoft was sued for?

Re:mmmm monopolies... (-1, Flamebait)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415539)

Let's see. Google sued Microsoft because of some defaults set in their software and operating system that favored Microsoft's own search. If you go to Google' all of their defaults are Google services. You don't even get the option to change those links to say Yahoo or the like. Yet Google felt the need to sue Microsoft for something the user COULD change.

As Google gets bigger, they will behave more like Microsoft. It is simple human nature. And hopefully, this will wake up another generation of Americans and make them realize that corporations are simply there to make money, and should be kept on a short leash.

Probably not.

Re:mmmm monopolies... (5, Interesting)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415572)

In what way is that anything like with bundling IE/Media Player in Windows while having a "monopoly" position in the OS market ?

Does Google have a monopoly in ANY sphere ?

Re:mmmm monopolies... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415631)

What google is doing is legal, what Microsoft did was not legal.

The difference is that a company has to act differently when they have a monopoly position in a marketspace. Google does not have a monopoly position, Microsoft does.

Re:mmmm monopolies... (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415863)

First of all, Google did not sue Microsoft over the matter you suggest. They publicly criticised them for it, but that was it. Second, Google are not (ab)using a monopoly in one area to try to gain a monopoly in another.

Microsoft have a de facto monopoly in the operating systems market. If Microsoft bindles a 'free'[1] web browser with their operating system, then they make it much harder for other browsers to compete. This is anti-competitive behaviour. It would have been acceptable for them to produce a web browser as a free download (since Netscape already offered a browser free for non-commercial use) and even for OEMs to bundle Microsoft's browser with their computers. It was not acceptable for Microsoft to penalise OEMs who bundled Netscape's browser.

Likewise, Microsoft now have a de facto monopoly in the web browser market. If they make their search engine the default in their browser, bundled with their OS, then they are using their monopoly position in two markets to attempt to gain a monopoly in a third. This is anti-competitive behaviour and should be criticised. Sure, the user can change it, in the same way that they can change the default browser. The point is that it is much easier for them not to, and the ability to do this is only available for the monopolist, not other members of the market.

Google's page defaults to Google's services, and that's fine. Why? Because Google (as of November 2005 - I can't find any more recent statistics) has 46.3% of the search engine market. While this is more than any of their competitors, it is nothing like a monopoly. If they had 80% or so, then it might be seen as anticompetitive behaviour to encourage Google users to use gmail and Google Talk. Well, except for the fact that these both use open standards and so anyone can interoperate with them.

[1] Free is quoted here since the cost is included in the OS, rather than it being truly zero-cost.

Re:mmmm monopolies... (2, Insightful)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415544)

eh? what exactly? What competitors is Google putting out of business by delivering ultimatums to their customers of "if you use our competitors products it'll be curtains for you, see, Curtains!"

Lots of people are getting all "aww poor Microsoft, getting bullied just for a few dozen Sherman AntiTrust Violations! Is big bad Google/Apple trying to eat your pie?" What you're missing is that Microsoft is just as evil as ever (They NEVER stopped Antitrust violations!) And none of their competitors has ever even been close to weilding Microsoft's level of Influence.

Re:mmmm monopolies... (3, Informative)

packetmon (977047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415579)

My comments show no sympathy for MS. If you think no company has wielded MS' influence then you've never heard of the Baby Bells, Big Blue, Tyco or SAIC.

Re:mmmm monopolies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415719)

And none of their competitors has ever even been close to weilding Microsoft's level of Influence.

Please read the actual Sherman act before spewing your ignorance:

(The Sherman Act).."was not specifically intended to prevent the dominance of an industry by a specific company, despite misconceptions to the contrary."

In other words, the act had nothing to do with how much influence a particular company had in an industry!!

See Wikipedia article here [wikipedia.org]

Re:mmmm monopolies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415730)

Happens all the time? Really. Please provide some detail re just one time where your scenario occurred.

Re:mmmm monopolies... (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415502)

In short, I think the monopoly issues will likely ditch the idea of eBay being purchased by Microsoft. Especially since Google and Yahoo! doesn't have anything near the scale of eBay when it comes to online auction sites.

Re:mmmm monopolies... (4, Informative)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415605)

eBay is not an auction site, it's an auction-style site =)

An auction has a legal definition, which eBay doesn't meet - that is : goods have to be available for physical visual inspection for at least 24 hours prior to auction time.

Auctions were used to return or disperse recovered stolen property (or just stolen). Once offered at auction, stolen property is not automatically returned to its owner should it be proven stolen later, unlike other stolen property.

This is why eBay describes itself as : "eBay, the world's largest online marketplace!"

and ... "Experience the thrill of placing the winning bid on an auction-style item"

Yoda says, 'Mmmmmm, balls.' (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415521)

My balls are in talks to acquire a good washing.
 
  Good DAY, sir!

Re:mmmm monopolies... (2, Funny)

Funkcikle (630170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415533)

I am hereby continuing to withhold the £13.57 of eBay fees I have outstanding. That will teach them to displease people on Slashdot!

But how will I sell my fabulous Xena: Warrior Princess merchandise now?

Re:mmmm monopolies... (1)

guilliamo (977425) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415664)

It's OK to put companies out of of business. Called competition. I have no affinity to any company or OS. Just let them fight it out. We all win thru technology advances. I say let it go and let the good times roll...

Re:mmmm monopolies... (2, Insightful)

ocbwilg (259828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415721)

With MS already in trouble over abuse of market share, I can't see any anti-monopoly commission approving a buyout of this size.

I just woke up, so I may be missing something bleedingly obvious, but I don't see what sort of anti-trust issues exist here. Microsoft is the worlds biggest software company, and one of the webs top 5 or so search companies. Ebay is the worlds biggest auction house (online or otherwise), and owns one of the world's biggest VOIP services (Skype) and online payment systems (Paypal). I just don't see the overlap.

I do, however, see lots of interesting business opportunities there for Microsoft.

Obligatory Joke (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415435)

Bidding for Ebay starts at $8 billion, but you can Buy It Now for $12.5 billion.

Re:Obligatory Joke (3, Informative)

greggish (319517) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415484)

I know you were kidding, but actually ebay's current market cap is $48 Bil. I would start the bidding there and put a BIN at $75 Bil. Only those with positive feedback should bid. Accept PayPal only. Good luck to the winner.

Re:Obligatory Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415497)

Yeah, but it's used! Heavily used, too.

Re:Obligatory Joke (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415525)

Yeah, but it's. . .

. . .lovingly aged, with a beautiful patina.

KFG

Re:Obligatory Joke (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415516)

> ... Only those with positive feedback should bid. ...

Does Microsoft actually have positive feedback?

Re:Obligatory Joke (4, Funny)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415872)

They'll make up the difference with an astronomical shipping price.

Re:Obligatory Joke (2, Funny)

kerplunk1984 (871218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415641)

Dear seller,
I really want to buy this item and i need a seller who is ready to sell,i
will be paying 750euro for this item and you will ship it to my client in
Nigeria.
(1)I will be paying you by western Union Auction Payment(Bidpay).
(2)You will ship the item by FEDEX,DHL,UPS,EMS.
(3)You will ship the item to my client immediately you recieve my payment
approval from the western union.
If you agree with these stated terms,send me your full name and address so
that i can go to the western union office immeidately to make payment for
the item.

Robert Dallas

doesn't make sense (3, Insightful)

free space (13714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415437)

why would Microsoft want to aquire a whole company when there's nothing eBay can offer that MS can't get by investing a few hundred million in them like they did with apple?

Re:doesn't make sense (4, Insightful)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415466)

Because eBay has something that can't be bought with money: "eBay" is the synonym for "online auction", just like "Google" is synonymous to "web search". That's the Holy Grail of brand recognition.

ummm (1)

free space (13714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415504)

Yes, but how would that directly benefit Microsoft's MSN strategy? I mean if eBay launched a search engine today not many people will say "gee, they're eBay..the famous auction guys! so their search engine must be good!".
Amazon tried to use their success in ecommerce to promote their search engine and yet people didn't leave Google and flock to A9..making your brand name mean one thing is often better than making it many things.

Sure, making MSN the default search on ebay will certainly make a proportion of eBay users MSN users but is that worth enough for Microsoft to pay billions and inherit all the workforce and liabilites of another giant company?

Re:ummm (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415531)

If Google has only search, and MS can buy all else, then it will be only a matter of time before they own search as well. Keep in mind, that MS is always stronger when it is them vs. 1-2 competitors. When their is real competition, then MS has a very difficult time competiting (such as what Linux and BSD does to them).

With a different admin, I would give MS zero chance of being able to even partner with e-bay, let alone buy them. But this admin does not care about legal or moral issues. I suspect that MS will be able to own e-bay if they do it quickly enough.

Re:ummm (3, Insightful)

Woldry (928749) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415575)

But this admin does not care about legal or moral issues.

Has there really ever been an administration that did?

Re:ummm (5, Insightful)

free space (13714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415616)

The thing is, Microsoft always had a "Buy for product, not market share" mentality.

Almost all companies they bought have been startups with a really cool product ( Hilgreave, WebTV, Bungie...). As far as I know, Microsoft has never bought a Novell or a Lotus or a Compaq, they kill competition with hard work and/or unfair practices, but not with company acquisitions.

So when you see Microsoft thinking of buying eBay instead of developing an alternative and slowly increasing their market share( like they did with IE) you know they are very desparate and afraid of Google.

Re:ummm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415788)

"they kill competition with hard work at unfair practices"

There, fixed that for you. ;-)

Re:doesn't make sense (0)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415473)

Two words. Network effect [wikipedia.org] .

Re:doesn't make sense (1)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415523)

True enough.

But this would make eBay a content company (which, in my opinion, it actually is), and
One source said Microsoft boss Bill Gates came to the conclusion that Yahoo! was more a content company than a tech company. This source said Gates has no interest in owning a content company.

D

Re:doesn't make sense (1)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415698)

It's not about their content, it's about their customers. They'd be paying for market share, and it's probably the only way to enter the auction marketplace. eBay has simply too much first-mover advantage there. The barriers to entry are huge.

Re:doesn't make sense (1)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415779)

My point was that it's about the content generated by that huge critical mass of customers far more than the technology itself, which I'm sure could be beaten.

So I think of it as a content company, of sorts.

D

Re:doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415581)

Yes, but Microsoft would have to start from scratch getting people to sign up, and then they'd compete with another well-established company. This is the same when they bought the company I work for: Microsoft is able to do anything we do themselves, for a lot less money than they paid for us. But we were at that point well-known for quality products in that field, so MS bought us.

Oh, wonderful. (4, Insightful)

SEE (7681) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415444)

Microsoft, running eBay, PayPal, and Skype.

Re:Oh, wonderful. (1)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415584)

but with Microsoft's stigma if such an aquisition did happen they might feel more pressured to deal with what people see as problems with Paypal.

Oh, Pul-eaze (1)

doodlebumm (915920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415806)

The only pressure that Microsoft feels from sheep (uh..., I mean, customers) is when the masses start using a technology where Microsoft isn't very near the top (like Google, eBay, etc.). Once Microsoft has acquired a top position, MS dictates what the customers want because people are stupid. MS doesn't make any effort to give people what they really want because it doesn't have to. Most people think that Microsoft will deliver something they will have to use no matter what, and they bend over and take it in the rear, smiling. If Microsoft said it would double all paypal and ebay rates, most people would just cave in.

We live in a society where people think that they have no choice but to bow to Microsoft. That is the power of their monopoly.

Reminds me of HotMail (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415445)

MS will spend YEARS trying to dump the *nix servers out of Ebay ;-)

no kidding (2, Insightful)

free space (13714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415561)

Microsoft has the habit of 'Microsoftizing' all software and web sites it acquires, where 'Microsoftize' means "make ugly, slow and unusable".

Hotmail, Frontpage and Visio were all excellent, lightweight products until MS added tons of links and toolbars and menus and images and made everything crawl.

Prepare for slower uglier eBay & Paypal.

Re:no kidding (3, Funny)

grazzy (56382) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415820)

Prepare for slower uglier eBay & Paypal.

I'm sorry, but I REALLY dont think that is possible.

Re:Reminds me of HotMail (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415564)

I don't understand why this is rated funny. Given that ebay runs on Java switching the server OS should not be a problem at all. One question remains though: Would MS try to switch from Java to .Net?

Just try EBay's load on MS's toy products (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415640)

Yeah, MS SQL running on Win32 servers can replace Oracle running on Sun 15Ks.

Riiiight.

Re:Reminds me of HotMail (1)

vandelais (164490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415684)

-or-
MS will forget to renew the ebay domain name.

Vista Presence? (was Re:Reminds me of HotMail) (2, Interesting)

quarkscat (697644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415727)

Parent poster reminds /. that Microsoft WOULD replace *nix servers at eBay with THEIR
flagship product.

It is not outside the realm of rational thought that Microsoft will be desperate to have
some highly visible enterprise to demonstrate the successful adoption of MS Vista OS,
even if they have to buy the company in order for that to happen. Vista is far behind
schedule, and this only after shedding 90% of the new "gotta-have" features they were
touting. Many, many corporations will be unmoved to migrate to Windows Vista OS
until (1) it is a PROVEN product, and (2) prior MS products reach EOL status.

If Microsoft spends 20% of its' cash reserves to purchase eBay, and then another 20%
to massage a working enterprise IT structure in order to demonstate Vista's viability,
what other choice would they have? Their business plan is dependent upon regularly
scheduled corporate upgrades, including the support contracts and training/certification
treadmill. So long as such a massive acquisition takes place during the current (BushCo)
business climate, they are less likely to get pinged by the DoJ regarding monopoly abuse.

You might say that Microsoft's future business is dependent upon a closing "window of
opportunity" to demonstrate a viable enterprise MS Windows Vista deployment. The
most notable feature of Vista, h/w-s/w DRM with corporate key control, would be an
ideal non-political fit for an enterprise utterly dependent upon e-commerce.

not according to Netcraft (2, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415758)

They run mostly Windows 2000. [netcraft.com]

Re:Reminds me of HotMail (2, Informative)

ryanduff (948159) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415902)

Actually, they run Sun Solaris. Theres an icon for it right on their main page under the search box (upper right) "Java Technology powered by Sun" The link a popup containing
eBay is Java(TM) Powered running on powerful Sun Fire UltraSPARC® and AMD Opteron(TM) servers supported by Sun services and solutions. eBay has chosen Sun's Solaris Operating System, the most advanced operating system on the planet, and its Sun Fire servers to help power The World's Online Marketplace. If you're running a business like eBay's, or have similar aspirations, contact Sun Microsystems. For more information on the eBay and Sun relationship please visit our Reference Center.

Investors would freak (4, Insightful)

crummyname (977083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415450)

Considering that eBay has a market cap that's 20% of Microsoft's, such an acquisition would probably cause a panic among investors and kill the stock. What they're more likely talking about is a partnership/alliance in certain areas.

Re:Investors would freak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415612)

Do you think so? For years investors have LOVED Microsoft. They rarely care what they do as long as the money keeps coming in.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce COMPETITION (4, Insightful)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415462)

IMHO this is great news.

1) It gives Google _more_ of an incentive to develop GPay and Googles Ebay (G-Bay?).
2) Now all 3 companies that we love to hate are all in one convient package (Pay-Pal, Ebay, MS)

This is Scary because:
Given the excellent security record that Microsoft OSs' have do we really want pay-pal tied into the OS? OR even worse if Microsoft thinks* you are not using a "Geniune" copy of it's OS, will it put a lock you your paypal account and/or deduct the amount straight from your account.
AND EVEN WORSE: This will make it _very_ easy for MS to start charging $xx/(day/week/month) for using Windows.

OMG the sky is falling! =)
Should make for interesting times.
(The Chinese proverb: "May you live in Interesting Times" is apt I think)

Re:Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce COMPETIT (1)

DimGeo (694000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415613)

"May you live in Interesting Times"
Actually, it's a curse ;-)

Re:Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce COMPETIT (1)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415777)

CompetIT? Is that a new CA product?

Re:Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce COMPETIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415700)

This scares me enough that I'm canceling my paypal account, the thought of Microsoft with direct access to my money is frightning. It's not much to them, but I haven't seen any buisness deal with Microsoft where someone didn't get screwed.

Tags (-1, Redundant)

distantbody (852269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415468)

I tagged this story:

gulp
hugeramifications
megamonopoly
oddcouple
thiscantbegood

Re:Tags (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415517)

You're an idiot. Please don't post here anymore.

Re:Tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415643)

Like I care.

That explains this new category (4, Funny)

raider_red (156642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415469)

I was on the eBay sight this morning and there's a new category labeled "Vaporware". It only had listings for advance purchases of Windows Vista.

Re:That explains this new category (2, Funny)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415480)

It only had listings for advance purchases of Windows Vista

wow, although if you looked a little harder though you would have found versions for sale right now...

Re:That explains this new category (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415494)

That's not true - i saw a couple copies of Duke Nukem Forever and a few consoles from this company called "Infinium Labs"...

Re:That explains this new category (1)

suspected (907639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415595)

I was also able to purchase Starcraft Ghost.

PayPal? (3, Insightful)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415483)

I doubt Microsoft is after Ebay itself. I think - for Microsoft - PayPal (owned by Ebay) is the interesting asset here, especially considering their plans for subscription models.

Re:PayPal? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415554)

hummm. Skype? All in all, e-bay has multiple pieces that MS could use to fit into their model. Keep in mind that MS is looking for a way to stop not only Google, but Linux. Linux has strength in such things as asterisk and web servers, and coming up on the desktop.

Wow, I misread that... (3, Funny)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415506)

I saw it as "Microsoft in Talks to Acquire Baby"

I need some coffee.

Microsoft getting ebay would be a nightmare. (1)

Inquisitor911 (935895) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415511)

Now imagine the possibilities... If Google acquired Ebay! : D

Re:Microsoft getting ebay would be a nightmare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415547)

They'd rename it Ebeta?

Re:Microsoft getting ebay would be a nightmare. (1)

Inquisitor911 (935895) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415553)

Yeah, it's kind of strange that half of their products are always in a beta stage.

Re:Microsoft getting ebay would be a nightmare. (1)

ByteGuerrilla (918383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415867)

Yes, Ted, that was the joke

[/familyguy]

Microsoft is scared. (1)

Rendo (918276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415549)

Think about it. They try and merge a deal with AOL, and that bombs because Google gets the deal. They then scampy on over to the next "best" thing and they're trying to make a deal with them to combat Google. Microsoft is getting scared and this is just proof how afraid they are that Google is the proverbial needle to the balloon for Microsoft.

Possible Merged Company Names (0, Offtopic)

Androclese (627848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415558)

It might just be possible that Yahoo! could get purchased by Microsoft as well. If they do, it gives us a wide range of new name possibilities to think about:

M$'s eYahoo!

M$baYahoo!

eYahoo$oft!

Ca$h

...most of these look like unsecure passwords...

I will stop (1, Interesting)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415559)

If MS acquires any sort of control over eBay/PayPal I will close out my accounts with both. No way I trust anything to do with my money to MS.

Re:I will stop (1)

Triddle (793231) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415582)

Damn straight. If I don't trust Microsoft Wallet how can I possibly trust them with my wallet?

Re:I will stop (1)

alan.briolat (903558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415636)

I am with you on that one. I have already got rid of anything to do with Microsoft, and encouraged others to do the same - I do not trust them, and I do not trust their market practices. This would just add another thing to the list.

Luckily though, on the Internet we have something very close to a free market, in that the entry cost to start a business is not very high, and almost anyone can do so. With that in mind, I can see a viable alternative to eBay/PayPal being created. Sure, I doubt it will be as popular as its predecessors to start with, as most users of them will not care about Microsoft being the owner, but I think over time, and as more public opinion becomes levelled against Microsoft (most likely from very public dangerous mistakes, as they are prone to having), the market share will shift.

Remember, the eventuality of an unregulated free market is one or 2 companies owning everything - there is always a buyer, therefore everyone and everything is for sale. Company directors do not care about what is "right" and the fact that selling out damages the economy as a whole - they care about profits, because that is their job.

Re:I will stop (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415644)

If MS acquires any sort of control over eBay/PayPal I will close out my accounts with both. No way I trust anything to do with my money to MS.


Been to your bank lately? How about the IRS?

Re:I will stop (1)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415713)

Banks are subject to intense regulation, and they are insured - if they screw up, wether its MS fault or not, my deposits get replaced. And I do specifically look for banks who at least dont use MS as their front end.

And as far as the IRS, I have no choice there - I *do* have a choice when it comes to eBay/PayPal.

Re:I will stop (1)

wfWebber (715881) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415795)

Actually, PP is subject to that same intense regulation and insurance. So no argument there. Essentially, PP is a bank, just one that's on the Internet. I'd suspect it is watched more carefully then your average bank.

Re:I will stop (4, Insightful)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415865)

Actually, PP is subject to that same intense regulation and insurance. So no argument there. Essentially, PP is a bank, just one that's on the Internet.

Show me where in PayPal's user agreement it shows that your money is FDIC insured? Their ridiculous "FDIC passthrough protection" doesn't count because it doesn't protect you in the case of PayPal becoming insolvent, only the bank they invested your money in. Believe me, if PayPal declares bankruptcy you'll be the LAST person with a claim on getting your money out of those bank accounts. Don't be a fool.. if you have more than $50 (or some small amount you're willing to lose) in a PayPal account you're asking for trouble. I even unlinked my checking account from them a few days ago because I am simply not comfortable with such a fucked up company being able to drain any of my "real" money. The only thing I allow as a source of funds now is a credit card so I can fight fraud charges through the CC company. Sure, this mean's I'm "unverified", which is ridiculous since they verified my account via my bank account once, it should stay verified no matter what payment method I choose to use.

Re:I will stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415726)

Have you ever known Microsoft to purchase and improve anything? eBay will crumble under Microsoft's tinkering. For exampld, third-party vendors of eBay management software (such as ChannelAdvisor) will likely be locked out, or priced out, of integrating with eBay. MS will develop a shoddy, Windows-based, download management application that they'll push on all their sellers.

Microsoft's changes will force people to flock to Overture, uBid, and new auction alternatives.

Re:I will stop (1)

Twiceblessedman (590621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415787)

Same, it's a shame because I've grown to like ebay. Ah well, nature of the beast. ;)

Hint... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415604)

Just saw a friend's beta copy of MS Small Business Accounting software and in it it has "E-Bay Integration" included.

MS is going hard after the small business market and yes, that includes all those EBay sellers.

Ebay is a Sun Solaris site (2, Insightful)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415615)

Ebay runs on Solaris and has just bought new hardware from Sun.

We all remember (don't we) how long it took MS to convert Hotmail?

So either MS runs a Solaris based service for the forseeable future or breaks Ebay for months while they try to get it right.

Re:Ebay is a Sun Solaris site (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415697)

Ebay runs on Solaris and has just bought new hardware from Sun.

Things are far more complicated that than. EBay also runs primarily on Java - it is one of the most successful and high-performance server-side Java sites in the world.

In other words, almost every aspect of the way EBay works uses the opposite strategy to those suggested by Microsoft.

Buy Yahoo! Now! (1)

hthite (675708) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415617)

So what now, one fine day M$ will buy Yahoo! as well?

Hi cost to stop illegal MS Windows sales on ebay (3, Funny)

OwnStile (261614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415626)

I bet they're just trying to stop the illegal sales of MS Windows on ebay...

Microsoft Friendster (1)

dicarve (976827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415647)

I wonder if then they acquire Friendster.com. Would it be nice if we have "MS Friendster, please login via your .NET Passports"?? :D

BSOD (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415676)

Bid Screen of Death.

In the new Vista, after a crash, you have to have the winning bid before getting your crash dump.

anyone else think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415690)

That MS is going after skype? so they can get the userbase and the chat program thats been quite successful and to get to that you have to get ebay?

Hey, it's in the New York Post.... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415691)

...so it *must* be true! It's right next to the story about the bouncer accused of murder who likes Chaucer and Kung Fu!

Chris Mattern

Antitrust concerns a bit late! (1)

openfrog (897716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415729)

Sources indicate that the talks, while still active, have cooled somewhat in the last two weeks as executives considered antitrust issues.

At the face of it, shouldn't it have come to mind BEFORE even beginning any talk? Is this a kind of trial baloon to test how compliant the authorities might be? Are they trying to prepare the minds for a different buyout that will appear more "reasonable" in comparison? MS should already have been split in different operations by now, OS and software, not that this is an absolute remedy, considering what happened with the Bells...

No interest in a content company? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415764)

From the article:

One source said Microsoft boss Bill Gates came to the conclusion that Yahoo! was more a content company than a tech company. This source said Gates has no interest in owning a content company.
This was confusing because "content" as an adjective means pleased. It is also sometimes used to refer to works of authorship other than computer programs. But in that case, what is Microsoft Game Studios if not "a content company"?

Re:No interest in a content company? (1)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415905)

I was rather puzzled by this comment, given that in the mid 1990's, Gates focused on acquiring the digital rights to lots of content around the globe. Encarta, Corbis, the acquisition of the Bettman Archive, were all parts of this strategy. Here's a good take on this I found from The Chronicle of Higher Education in 1998:
http://chronicle.com/data/articles.dir/art-44.dir/ issue-33.dir/33a03301.htm [chronicle.com] .

Perhaps they just weren't capable of monopolizing sufficient content to make it a viable business strategy.

Back when I worked as a television researcher in the 80's it was becoming clear that content holders had more and more leverage over distribution channels as the networks' oligopoly was challenged. At the time I thought that content would be king. Now, I'm not so sure. Perhaps the real power these days are services like eBay or Google that repackage content in useful ways. Of course, in 1981 we couldn't see the Internet coming, so information flow was still pretty much unidirectional. The Internet enables providers like eBay to repackage content provided by its customers; essentially the audience has become the advertisers. To me, the fact that the Internet has destroyed this type of top-down information flow is one of its most revolutionary characteristics.

Of course, that's not to say that those wedded to the top-down model won't do everything they can to stop these trends, be they the MPAA, the New York Times, or the government. In the long run, though, I don't think they'll succeed.

And how long would it be (0, Flamebait)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415770)

Before Ebay had to stop using Open Source software and going with MS provided software.

Good god - if you think Ebay is mostly unusable now just wait and see what happens when the entire operating platform is switched to Microsoft products.

Microsoft has too much money (2, Informative)

Slashdot Junky (265039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415791)

If Microsoft and eBay are indeed talking, it is proof that Microsoft has way too much money just sitting around. Microsoft will ruin eBay if they were too aquire it. I don't want everything to be either Google this and MSN that.

Later,
-Slashdot Junky

God dammit Microsoft... (0, Troll)

TheNoxx (412624) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415792)

Just do your fucking OS thing and quit trying to control the world. It's getting really, really, really fucking old. You don't have to dominate EVERY ASPECT OF COMPUTING EVER.

Re:God dammit Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15415854)

You're absolutely right. I forwarded your comment to Steve Ballmer, I'm almost positive he'll listen. We can make a difference!

Re:God dammit Microsoft... (1)

ByteGuerrilla (918383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415879)

Embrace and extend, my padawan learner.

You can... (1, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415813)

eBay's CEO: You can suck my tiny red-blue-yellow-green balls, Mr. Ballmer!

ok. I wanna buy it (1)

asdomar (933346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15415855)

but how much is shipping? I'm interested in this item
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