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TheStreet Open House

Part of eBay's Icahn Rebuttal Supported by SEC Filings

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission support eBay's (EBAY) claims that board member Scott Cook's business interests don't overlap much with its PayPal online payments division. Cook, a founder and large shareholder of Intuit (INTU), has been accused by billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn of having conflicts of interest because Intuit's Go-Payment business provides virtually the same capabilities as PayPal Here.

Icahn, in a letter to eBay shareholders on Thursday, said Intuit and PayPal have "identical product offerings such as 'PayPal Here' and 'GoPayment', among many others. In our opinion, having Mr. Cook on the board while planning PayPal's future is akin to having Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks, sitting in when the Denver Broncos were constructing their game plan for the Super Bowl (then again, maybe he did)."

EBay, in multiple responses to Icahn, has claimed that the overlap between Intuit's businesses such as Go-Payment and PayPal are minimal.

"Mr. Icahn's claims about Scott Cook also are unfounded," eBay's founder and chairman Pierre M. Omidyar said on Thursday. "The overlap between Intuit and eBay is small for both companies."

Corporate filings support eBay's claims.

EBay has never listed Intuit or the company's Go-Payment unit as a competitor to PayPal. In corporate filings, Intuit doesn't list eBay or PayPal as a competitor.

The e-commerce company, however, does disclose an extensive list of competitors to PayPal, including some companies that are backed by Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm co-founded by board member Marc Andreessen. eBay, however, has acknowledged that fact in multiple responses to Icahn.

Here is PayPal's latest disclosure from its 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission:

PayPal faces competition and potential competition from existing online, mobile and offline payment methods, including, among others:

  • providers of traditional payment methods, particularly credit and debit cards, checks, money orders and Automated Clearing House transactions (these providers are primarily well-established banks);
  • providers of "digital wallets" which offer customers the ability to pay online or on mobile devices through a variety of payment methods, including Visa's V.me, MasterCard's MasterPass, American Express's Serve, Google Wallet and the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) initiative supported by Walmart, Target and other major U.S. retailers;
  • payment-card processors that offer their services to merchants, including Chase Paymentech, First Data, Bank of America Merchant Services, Elavon, Vantiv, WorldPay, Barclays Merchant Services, Global Payments, Inc., Stripe and Balanced, and payment gateways, including CyberSource and Authorize.net (both owned by Visa), SimplifyCommerce by MasterCard and First Data;
  • Amazon Payments, which offers merchants the ability to accept credit card- and bank-funded payments from Amazon's base of online and mobile customers on the merchant's own website. Amazon has recently launched a new payment service for online merchants under the name Log in and Pay with Amazon;
  • providers of mobile payments, including ISIS in the U.S., Buyster in France, Mpass in Germany, Weve in the U.K., Boku and Crandy, many of which are owned by or supported by major mobile carriers; and
  • providers of card readers for mobile devices and of other new Point of Sale and multi-channel technologies, including Square (which has also begun to offer a marketplace service to sellers), Chase Paymentech, Bank of America, AT&T (in association with Vantiv), Capital One, Shopify, iZettle, WorldPay, Payleven, Groupon, SumUp and others.

PayPal also faces competition and potential competition from:

  • money remitters such as MoneyGram, Western Union, Global Payments, Inc., Xoom and Euronet;
  • bill payment services, including CheckFree, a subsidiary of Fiserv;
  • services that provide online merchants the ability to offer their customers the option of paying for purchases from their bank account or paying on credit, including Western Union's WU Pay, Dwolla, Acculynk, TeleCheck (a subsidiary of First Data), iDEAL in the Netherlands, Klarna in several European countries, Sofortuberweisung (which recently has agreed to merge with Klarna) in Germany, PayLib in France and the MyBank pan-European initiative;
  • issuers of stored value targeted at online payments, including NetSpend, Green Dot, PayNearMe, UKash and Qiwi in Russia;
  • other international online payment-services providers such as AliPay, the PayU group of companies (owned by Naspers), PagSeguro and Bcash (owned by Naspers);
  • other providers of online account-based payments, such as Skrill, ClickandBuy (owned by Deutsche Telekom), Barclays Pingit in the U.K., Kwixo in France, and Paymate and Visa PayClick in Australia;
  • payment services targeting users of social networks and online gaming, often through billing to the consumer's mobile phone account, including PlaySpan (owned by Visa), Boku, Bango and Payfone;
  • payment services enabling banks to offer their online banking customers the ability to send and receive payments through their bank account, including PopMoney from Fiserv, which has a collaboration agreement with Visa, and ClearXchange (a joint venture among Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase);
  • online shopping services that provide special offers linked to a specific payment provider, such as Visa's RightCliq, MasterCard MarketPlace, TrialPay and Tapjoy;
  • services such as Coinbase and Bitpay that help merchants accept and manage virtual currencies such as Bitcoin; and cash

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