Mon, Apr. 13, 5:25 PM
- EBAY has named Home Depot merchandising SVP Harry Hal Lawton the head of its North American marketplaces ops. Lawton's predecessor, Christopher Payne, recently left to become the CEO of Tinder.
- Scott Cutler, most recently the head of global listings at the NYSE, has been named president of StubHub. Former StubHub chief Chris Tsakalakis left last fall. Also: Former Agilent general counsel Marie Oh Huber has been named eBay's general counsel.
- News of the appointments comes a week after eBay disclosed director Tom Tierney will replace Pierre Omidyar as chairman following the PayPal spinoff, and that John Donahoe (already set to be replaced as CEO by Devin Wenig) will leave the board to chair PayPal.
Thu, Apr. 9, 5:28 PM
- Ahead of PayPal's spinoff (set for 2H15), EBAY has agreed 80% of its Marketplaces GMV will be handled by PayPal for the next 5 years. PayPal will be compensated if its share goes below 80%, and pay a commission if it rises above 80%. PayPal will also pay a referral fee when new users are signed up via eBay.
- eBay is prohibited from creating its own payments system during this time, and PayPal from creating a marketplace. As expected, PayPal will be free to strike payments deals with eBay rivals such as Amazon and Alibaba - both already have their own payments platforms, but Alibaba has said it's open to working with PayPal internationally.
- Also: eBay CEO John Donahoe says he'll serve as PayPal chairman following the spinoff, and (as was reported) step down from eBay's board. Meanwhile, director/former Bain CEO Tom Tierney will replace founder Pierre Omidyar as eBay's chairman. eBay CFO Bob Swan will also step down, while joining eBay's board.
- The companies stated in last September's spinoff announcement AmEx exec Dan Schulman will be CEO of PayPal following the split, and Marketplaces chief Devin Wenig CEO of eBay.
Mon, Mar. 30, 4:20 PM
- StubHub (NASDAQ:EBAY) accuses Ticketmaster (NYSE:LYV) and the Golden State Warriors of violating U.S. antitrust law, as well as California's unfair competition law, by threatening to revoke the privileges of season ticket owners if they resold their tickets through a platform other than Ticketmaster's NBATickets.com, from which the Warriors receive a cut on sales.
- StubHub: "If the anti-competitive actions complained herein are not stopped, Ticketmaster is likely to seek to replicate them with other teams. As a result, millions of Americans will be held captive to a monopoly secondary ticketing exchange."
- The eBay unit claims its Warriors ticket listings are down 80% this year. As it is, StubHub's top line has been hurt in recent quarters by listing fee cuts meant to keep rivals at bay.
Thu, Mar. 26, 3:06 AM
- Not only have brick and mortar banks transgressed numerous U.S. sanctions programs (I, II) against countries like Iran, Cuba and Sudan, but PayPal (NASDAQ:EBAY) has also just agreed to pay $7.7M to settle similar charges from the U.S. Treasury Department.
- PayPal did not adequately screen its transactions for U.S. sanctions targets for several years through 2013, resulting in 486 apparent violations of U.S. law, the Treasury said in a statement.
Tue, Mar. 24, 3:03 AM
- eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), which is spinning off its PayPal division later this year, plans to pay each of the two new companies' chief executive officers $14M in total compensation after the split.
- Dan Schulman, who joined the company from American Express, will be CEO of PayPal, while Devin Wenig, who is now president of the Marketplaces division, will become CEO of eBay.
- They will both get an annual salary of $1M post-breakup, plus cash bonuses and equity awards of as much as $13M.
Mon, Mar. 23, 10:11 AM
- GoPro president/ex-Skype CEO Tony Bates is joining eBay's (EBAY +1.3%) board, as is American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern.
- Ford chairman William C. Ford is stepping down following eBay's May 1 annual meeting, as is newspaper industry vet Richard T. Schlosberg. They've respectively been on the board for 10 and 11 years.
- The shakeup is declared to be part of eBay's efforts to prepare for the PayPal spinoff. eBay owned Skype for part of Bates' tenure as the company's CEO.
- In January, eBay reached a truce with Carl Icahn that has resulted in Icahn Capital exec Jonathan Christodoro joining the board. Two other directors were also added, growing the board's size to 15.
Thu, Mar. 19, 7:04 AM
Wed, Mar. 18, 2:29 PM
- After dropping slightly yesterday following news Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is giving Messenger users the ability to send money to each other (though not to merchants), EBAY is seeing steeper losses today. Volume (11M shares) has exceeded a 3-month daily average of 8.5M.
- Unlike PayPal, Facebook doesn't plan to charge transaction fees for the time being. Mark Zuckerberg has suggested he isn't interested in monetizing Messenger until it hits 1B users.
- Though P2P money transfers are a small portion of PayPal's transaction volume, Facebook's service could substantially grow the number of payment card numbers it has on file. The company is in the midst of testing (with the help of PayPal rival Stripe) a Buy button that lets users pay for advertised items without leaving Facebook's site/apps, using previously-saved card data.
- Buried within a Bloomberg column about Facebook's payments launch: Facebook says it now has 700M Messenger users. The company reported having 500M MAUs back in November.
Tue, Mar. 17, 4:02 PM
- Facebook (FB +1.7%) is updating its PC and mobile Messenger apps to allow users to send cash (via debit cards) to friends. A user sending money simply has to tap a $ icon, enter an amount, and tap a Pay button; a PIN can be created to provide security.
- Facebook is less than a year removed from hiring ex-PayPal chief David Marcus to run Messenger. Mark Zuckerberg, for his part, has suggested for a while payments will be a part of Facebook's efforts to monetize Messenger, which has 500M+ MAUs thanks in part to Facebook's decision to remove messaging functionality from its core apps.
- Many think WhatsApp, currently monetized in some markets via subscription fees, will eventually join rival messaging platforms in supporting payments. Facebook has promised it won't run ads on WhatsApp, and has more broadly argued ads aren't a good way to monetize messaging apps.
- PayPal owner eBay (EBAY -0.1%) has ticked lower following Facebook's announcement. For now, Facebook's platform doesn't support merchant payments, which account for a far larger percentage of PayPal's transaction volume than consumer-to-consumer payments.
Tue, Mar. 17, 1:59 AM
- eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) is taking another step into high-end auctions, launching a new area of its website built specifically for auction house Sotheby's (NYSE:BID).
- The new platform - ebay.com/sothebys - will stream Sotheby's New York auctions live beginning next month, bringing the company's vast inventory to a new audience in the hopes of boosting sales and prices.
Fri, Mar. 13, 2:37 PM
- Susquehanna's James Friedman: "As we have observed in prior studies, although Visa, MasterCard and Amex are accepted by 100% of the top 100 Internet Retailers, PayPal is only 68% penetrated ... #1 Amazon, #3 Staples, #6 QVC and #8 Macy’s don’t take PayPal. Our conversations with a number of merchant acquirers – some of which resell PayPal – suggest early dialogue regarding acceptance post spin are improving."
- Friedman, who has upgraded eBay (EBAY -1.1%) to Positive and hiked his target by $16 to $75, thinks new deals with merchants currently squeamish about partnering with PayPal (due to the fact they compete with eBay's Marketplaces unit) "could add hundreds of basis points to [PayPal's] growth." Dan Loeb argued something similar while confirming his eBay position last October.
- Also: Friedman believes PayPal could see a 7%-8% earnings boost from pending European payment card interchange fee reductions. His DCF analysis grants PayPal a $62B enterprise value, and assumes a 16% cash flow CAGR from 2015 to 2024.
- In spite of the upgrade, eBay has followed markets lower. Shares remain close to a 52-week high of $60.93 (set on Monday).
Tue, Mar. 10, 12:51 PM
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM -3.6%) clients saw their Amazon (AMZN -2.1%) same-store sales rise 22.7% Y/Y in February. That's down from January 27%, and also below the growth seen during 9 of the prior 10 months (December being the exception). Growth peaked at 45.1% in August.
- 38% of tracked Amazon sales relied on Amazon's fulfillment services (FBA), up from 32.2% a year earlier. 2.3% of sales relying on FBA involved non-Amazon transactions. Amazon stated in its Q4 report 3rd-party sellers using FBA grew 65% in 2014, and made up over 40% of Q4 3rd-party units.
- eBay (EBAY -2.5%) continues to lose share: Its ChannelAdvisor same-store sales grew 5.1% in February, down from January's 6.8% and below total U.S. e-commerce growth of 15% (per comScore) - auctions -26.2%, fixed-pride +8.6%, Motors +25.2%. eBay is coming off a Q4 in which its Marketplaces GMV only rose 2% Y/Y (3% U.S. growth, 1% international).
- Search ad-based same-store sales (largely involving Google ads) rose 10.7%, with rising clicks and orders offsetting declining ad prices. Google Shopping-related (NASDAQ:GOOG) same-store sales grew 20.7%.
- Amazon and eBay are both underperforming on a down day for equities. Amazon's volume has been below-average, and eBay's above-average.
Mon, Mar. 9, 12:21 PM
- Globes reports PayPal (EBAY +1%) has bought CyActive, an Israeli provider of malware-protection software that relies on algorithms to predict future attacks, for $60M. ZDNet also reports of a deal; a source states it's "worth at least $60M."
- CyActive's architecture relies on both client and cloud-based software; the former inspects client Web traffic and behavior, while the latter analyzes existing malware and uses it predict/stop future threats. Corporate interest in cybersecurity has been growing rapidly following a series of well-publicized breaches, including one at eBay.
- PayPal recently struck a deal to buy white-label mobile payments platform Paydiant, reportedly for $280M. Back in 2008, the company bought Israeli fraud-detection software firm Fraud Sciences for $169M.
Mon, Mar. 2, 12:01 PM
- PayPal (EBAY +0.4%) is acquiring Paydiant, provider of a white-label platform that allows retailers to create their own mobile wallet apps, replete with payment, loyalty card, and digital coupon support. Multiple sources tell Re/code the purchase price is around $280M.
- Paydiant's customer base includes Subway, CapitalOne, and (notably) MCX, a consortium of major retailers that plans to launch a QR-code based mobile payments platform (called CurrentC) later this year. MCX's backers include Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Best Buy, Dunkin' Donuts, CVS, and several large gas station chains.
- The deal comes on the heels of the Apple Pay launch, Samsung's acquisition of mobile payments platform LoopPay, and Google's deals with U.S. carriers to pre-install Google Wallet on their Android phones. Google is also rumored to be working on Android Pay, an API for 3rd-party apps that can handle both online and in-store payments.
- Though PayPal handled $45.6B worth of mobile transactions in 2014 (mostly online), the rise of mobile payments and authentication platforms backed by tech/Internet giants has been viewed as a long-term threat. Evercore last November: "[T]he convenience that mobile necessitates means that demand channels, including marketplaces, Search, Social and even the OS, are moving closer to sellers ... The result allows demand channels the opportunity to offer payment elements, including user authentication and stored payment credentials for the user on behalf of the merchant, a role traditionally reserved for payment players, most notably PayPal."
Fri, Feb. 6, 7:16 AM
- Reflecting a lower income tax expense, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) has revised its 2014 earnings upward by $87M, after it underestimated the tax benefit of an inter-company transaction that happened in December.
- After adjustment, eBay's net income rose to $1.02B from $936M in the quarter ended Dec. 31.
- Previously: eBay beats by $0.01, but guides light (Jan. 21 2015)
Tue, Feb. 3, 5:58 PM
- Re/code reports EBAY began notifying employees affected by its planned job cuts (set to affect 7% of the workforce) on Monday, and that the group includes PayPal workers who "held sales and product roles in the division that focuses on getting restaurants and small business retail stores to accept PayPal as a payment method."
- The site adds PayPal's in-store initiatives have "largely been viewed as big disappointments inside the company," and speculates the severity of the cuts suggests "PayPal may be looking to refocus on its core Web and in-app payments under CEO-designee Dan Schulman."
- PayPal has rolled out or trialed a smorgasbord of products/services over the last few years that are meant to enable offline/mobile payments. They include Bluetooth beacons, a Square-like credit card reader, offline payment options for the company's core Android/iOS apps, an NFC payment service, and a solution for making payments using a phone # and PIN (Discover is a partner).
- Collectively, the solutions have seen only modest uptake. On the other hand, PayPal's mobile payment volume (largely tied to e-commerce) grew to $45.6B in 2014 (20% of total volume), and was up 58% Y/Y in Q4.
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