Pascal Marti, Legal Director Europe, eBay International

With more choice on the horizon for eBay customers, GC sits down with Marti to discuss the legal frameworks underpinning its new payments system, as a decades long partnership with PayPal draws to a close.

Global commerce leader, eBay Inc. includes our Marketplace, StubHub and Classifieds platforms. Collectively, we connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world. We claim that if there is anything you want, you can buy it on eBay. I’m not sure if that’s always true, but with approximately 1.4 billion live listings, you should be able to find what you are looking for!

The eBay website is what people are most familiar with and boasts over 180 million active buyers. It is worth noting that we are providing the platform for sellers and buyers to connect and that purchases happen between a buyer and a seller. From a legal standpoint, this distinction is important in many ways. Most notably, the underlying legal regime in Europe is very specific when it comes to the liability of online providers for the content they host.

Over the past two years, eBay’s Global Markets legal team has heavily worked on a major internal restructuring of eBay’s legal entity setup for more effective corporate governance and to better align it with the management structure. We moved millions of international customers to different contracting entities by amending our site user agreements, privacy notices and related policies. Furthermore, we transferred thousands of vendor agreements to other subsidiaries. This multi-year project involved close coordination with numerous cross functional teams and reinforced legal’s role as a business enabler. The Markets legal team has also advised on numerous projects related to artificial intelligence and structured data on top of the more regular commercial and compliance work across the globe. Another highlight, and reflecting our focus on operational excellence, was the introduction of an improved contract management software for the benefit of all businesses.

PayPal was part of the eBay family up until 2015. They are now an independent publicly listed company. But up until then, PayPal was not only part of eBay, it was the payment method of choice on the site. Now that eBay winds down its operating agreements with PayPal, it has publicly announced that it is working on Managed Payments, which is already being trialed in the United States and Germany and which offers buyers more ways to pay (such as credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal). eBay will now manage the end-to-end payments experience on the eBay platform. Launching this new payment method in Europe has kept eBay’s new Payments legal team incredibly busy and culminated in clearing all required regulatory approvals.

In line with our commitment to protecting the privacy and data of users, eBay’s Privacy Team also made enhancements to its processes and products to help support the eBay’s compliance with the GDPR.