business news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times had a piece before Christmas that, if you haven't read it, you should.

It is about how eBay, rather than just being an online auction house, has been "developing technology partnerships with big retailers like Home Depot, Macy’s, Toys 'R' Us and Target and expanding eBay’s online marketplace to include reliable, returnable goods at fixed prices … eBay has made 34 acquisitions over the last five years, most of them to provide the company and its retail partners with enhanced technology. EBay can help with the back end of websites, create interactive storefronts in real-world locations, streamline the electronic-payment process or help monitor inventory in real time."

Part of this effort is tied into eBay's ownership of PayPal, which it believes will allow the company to create a digital wallet that will facilitate the whole vision. And, the story makes clear, eBay is hardly the only company pursuing the strategy … there also is a little company called Walmart that is investing significant time and money into its @WalmartLabs initiative in Silicon Valley.

And, of course, all these moves and investments are tied into finding ways to compete with the Amazon juggernaut.

Check it out here.
KC's View: