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.