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Thursday, Aug 15
eBay losses pared following TechCrunch report on Facebook's plans
- Down as much as 4.7% earlier today, eBay (EBAY -2%) finished with losses only a little worse than the Nasdaq's after TechCrunch provided its own report about Facebook's (FB -0.3%) mobile payments product.
- Like AllThingsD, TechCrunch reports Facebook's product won't offer payment-processing for now, but will rather focus on auto-filling billing info using data already provided to Facebook (the new Google Wallet functions in a similar manner).
- But while AllThingsD argued Facebook's service amounts to a PayPal rival, TechCrunch argues this isn't the case, and that Facebook's primary goal is to collect data about user buying activity that could be used to improve ad sales/targeting. Facebook has already made some moves in this direction.
- The truth may be in between. Though a lack of payment-processing (for now) prevents Facebook's offering from being a soup-to-nuts PayPal alternative, a product that allows billing info to be quickly auto-filled could still lead to more mobile transactions being processed by PayPal rivals. That is, provided Facebook is more successful here than Google Checkout/Wallet.