Google and eBay had a staring contest in the last few days, which resulted in eBay winning a round against Google.
TechCrunch has a great summary of what happened:
- eBay doesn’t allow merchants to use Google Checkout to settle eBay transactions. Google invited eBay online sellers attending eBay Live! in Boston this week to a party that they called the Google Checkout Freedom Party.
- eBay decides to pull all U.S. advertising on Google.
- Google backs down, cancels the party.
What it means: eBay is the biggest Google AdWords advertiser (which might be worth more than $100 million in revenues for Google). According to this SF Chronicle article, “EBay’s ads showed up on Google 188.3 million times in March, according to comScore Networks, more than double the number run by Target, the No. 2 Google advertiser.” and I think that does not include Shopping.com numbers. You should never underestimate the power of any of your coopetitors. If you’re coopeting with another large organization, be careful not to disrupt the delicate equilibrium, unless you’re prepared to go to war.