"eBay went straight to the nuke"

The title above was makester Phil Torrone’s gut comment on the radar backchannel to eBay’s decision to cancel all their US-based ad$ on Google in response to Google’s ‘Freedom Party’. The Freedom party was meant as a friendly but prominent reminder of eBay’s unwillingness to let Google Checkout onto their platform.

Fellow Radar-blogger Marc Hedlund quickly pointed to the likely core of Ebay’s strong reaction:

I recently read “The PayPal Wars,” which describes the growth of PayPal (from their marketing director’s POV) from launch to acquisition by eBay. One of the stories was about PayPal crashing eBay Live, when eBay was trying to promote its own payment service. It sounds like Meg Whitman got up at her own conference and saw about 1/4-1/3 of the audience in PayPal shirts — given away at a party just like the one Google was proposing to throw.
I would bet eBay decided they never wanted to repeat the experience.

Update: Read Dave McClure’s comment below for more insight into the PayPal t-shirt revolution party that he took part in putting on.

Google has since canceled the Freedom Party with the excuse that “eBay Live attendees have plenty of activities to keep them busy”.

Where’s the nimble startup ready to challenge eBay in a powerplay without the risk of losing a three-figure $ million revenue stream, and when will eBay recognize – like Facebook – that they’re a platform and not a closed bundle of applications.