The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has welcomed eBay’s changes to its payment policies.
Under the changes, eBay is removing the requirements for sellers to offer PayPal as a payment option.
The ACCC had been investigating complaints that eBay and its Australian subsidiaries eBay Australia and New Zealand and PayPal Australia may have engaged in conduct that had the effect of, or was likely to, substantially lessen the competition in contravention of section 45 of the Trade Practices Act.
While the ACCC had not formed a final view, following meetings with senior eBay staff, the online auction house has introduced and brought forward changes to its payments policy, which the watchdog considers will give its members greater flexibility in choosing payment options.
“The ACCC welcomes the action taken by eBay, which gives sellers further choice as to the payment system they use, while ensuring consumers are offered safer payment options by all sellers," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.
It is not customary for the ACCC to refer to investigations that are not in the public arena; however, a substantial number of complaints have been received about certain eBay policies which affect the offering and acceptance by eBay traders of online payment services. The ACCC considered a large amount of information as part of its investigation and considers this is an appropriate outcome.
The ACCC has decided to discontinue its current inquiries into eBay's payment policies. However, this does not restrict the ACCC from reviewing the effects of eBay or PayPal's conduct in Australia if it raises competition concerns in the future.