Pardon the lame MySpace humor, but as far as The Wall Street Journal is concerned, Google might move the social networking site off its top eight friends list. An article in the paper today implies, at least, there’s a bit of tension between the partners that is stalling the search distribution deal they made in August.
“Before it signs a longer document finalizing the agreement, MySpace wants to ensure that the terms originally agreed — as outlined in a hastily drafted deal letter of intent in August — don’t limit its ability to work with third parties such as eBay, according to people familiar with the discussions.”
The story says Google’s ecommerce goals (read: Google Checkout) are threatened by a potential pair up between MySpace and Ebay. Oh, and let’s not forget Google’s free classifieds service Base and Ebay-evading hopes to transform auctioneers into direct AdWords buyers. Evidently, MySpace has been flirting with Ebay to form a “peer commerce” relationship. The Journal writes, “The idea is to let MySpace users buy and sell items from each other using eBay’s online-commerce technology and its PayPal payment system….MySpace users would be able to post items for sale on their profiles, and their eBay auctions would be automatically updated, according to one person close to the discussions.”
Man, can’t these companies have discussions without somebody leaking them to the Journal? Seems like some of these insiders could find a fitting home working for the Bush administration….
Google, of course, is riding a thin line, considering Ebay is one of its biggest AdWords buyers. (I just searched Google for “Narcotics” and got a sponsored link with this copy: “Get new Narcotics on eBay Express. Happy Shopping!”) Yes, very happy shopping.
The story fails to note another frost-causing factor: MySpace and Google are big competitors in the video space now that Goog owns the Tube. Google rival Yahoo is also in bed with Ebay.
I can’t help but think the article’s headline (“MySpace’s Pact With Google Hits a Snag”) is a bit misleading, too, considering further down in the piece, it says, “The differences over eBay aren’t likely to derail the ad pact between Google and MySpace. People close to the situation said both companies have been meeting their commitments since the beginning of this year and the payments don’t hinge on the current round of talks.”
What it comes down to is these are all big players who will most likely be doing the co-opetition thing for a long time to come.
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