Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: eBay vs. AuctionWatch

Author:Jeremy Bowers
Posted:10/12/1999; 12:13:48 PM
Topic:eBay vs. AuctionWatch
Msg #:11962 (In response to 11958)
Prev/Next:11961 / 11963

What's likely to happen if Ebay legally stops others from grabbing the data, is lots of consumers will simply move to an auction service that doesn't restrict the distribution and aggregation of bids.

I'd modify that slightly from "lots of consumers" to "informed consumers".

That also assumes large auctions will exist that won't restrict distribution and aggregation of bids; if eBay is right about the out-of-date info and server load complaints, it may be that nobody will fail to restrict it, if eBay proves they can. In theory it may be obviously advantageous for some companies to allow this, but the practical aspects of updating client sites about something like auctions will prove difficult to surmount as they continue to grow, and the costs of surmounting those obstacles may outweigh the benefits.

My point about the importence is not how much eBay hurts themselves, though. It was about whether or not eBay even can block, because if they can, so can everybody else. And if you can block that, what else about your website can you block? Or, if it is found eBay can't block, what can you restrict people accessing your website from doing? It's a big thing that goes way beyond eBay.

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