All over the Wall Street Journal today is plastered the news that Ebay is in conversations with both Yahoo and Microsoft about widening their relationship to help thwart Google's increasingly competitive stance vis a vis Ebay.
And this all stems from Google launching Google Base, a free online classified service, that strikes at the heart of Ebay's business. In my opinion Ebay is using these conversations to better leverage their position with Google rather than do much more with Yahoo or Microsoft.
After all, Ebay is one of the largest advertisers on Google and Google delivers the most traffic to Ebay. I do not quite see how they could threaten that critical customer generation process. And if Ebay did take material business away from Google and develop a deeper partnership with Yahoo or Microsoft that would almost guarantee that Google would accellerate plans and promotion of Google Base.
Plus, both Yahoo and Microsoft have their own fledgling plans for classified services. Ebay may be best served to try and persuade Google to partner more deeply with them and maybe even integrate Google Base more closely with Ebay's services. Ebay for auction - Google Base for free classifieds.
And if Google are too stubborn, building deeper relationships with Yahoo or Microsoft or both, while still advertising with Google, may be the best way forwards.
And if all these options have you dizzy with confusion - think what a nightmare it is running a major Internet business. For it's all about partnering!