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Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt:
"If I said at a meeting, 'Are we going to enter eBay's space?' everyone would look at me and say, 'Why? They do a fine job.' The genius of Google is that we find new ways to solve problems that were never solved before."
Indeed, just this week Google is integrating the Keyhole service into its local search product
(in other words they entered the free mail service because Microsoft and Yahoo did not do a fine job and they solved mail problems that were never solved before...:)-)
Ebay is a big because of it's community not of the website or hardware. And I see no reason, why they would topple from that position. People are comfortable bidding on Ebay. And that trust doesn't happen with better hardware. And Google is hardly known for their community values despite fanatical followers for Google.
Ebay is a big because of it's community
eBay has no guarantee that they can keep their community and, in my personal experience, users who have problems with ebay or paypal end up disappointed with the customer service (or more specifically, the lack of customer service).
Competition is good for the marketplace and good for the user and right now there isn't any. I don't see a "grassroots" auction site doing well against eBay, but a large player could succeed just by investing in a customer service department that answers emails within 5 days. (A task seemingly impossible for eBay.)
If it's not Google, it will be someone else if eBay can't get their act together. ::shrug::
The real crux of the matter was it ran for several years and in the contract AOL agreed not to enter the auction market. Ebay renewed the contarct again, at even greater expense because they were, at the time, terrified that if AOL made good on their mutterings and went into auctions they would sink ebay
It'd be like eBay only with free advertising on Google, auction items would have far more exposure than they do on eBay and they'd even be seen by people who aren't even looking for auctions but might get tempted once they see the prices.
Seems that it would be WAY more profitable to do this in conjunction with ebay since ebay already has the audience, the sellers, the pictures, etc. etc.