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eBay Bans One of Its Own Divisions From Selling Ads on eBay

The move underscores the stakes eBay business units are putting in the ground as they get ready for a three-way divorce.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Here come the turf wars.

Ahead of eBay’s planned split into three separate companies, its core shopping business has cut off its eBay Enterprise unit from selling ads on eBay’s websites and mobile apps, according to multiple sources. The eBay Enterprise unit sells e-commerce and logistics services to midsize and large retailers, but also has a marketing division that helps these retailers advertise online.

Until this year, the Enterprise unit was able to buy ad space on eBay on behalf of some of its retail clients. But no longer. Now, the Enterprise unit can only use shopping data from eBay to target ads off of eBay’s own sites and apps. And now eBay sales partner company Triad Retail Media is the exclusive seller for advertising on eBay’s properties.

An eBay spokesman confirmed the move. “We felt our previous sales configuration made it too difficult for customers to understand and access our suite of off-eBay display ad solutions,” eBay rep Ryan Moore said in an email. “We also felt that unifying our sales teams would increase customer focus and allow us to improve our solutions to better meet marketer needs.”

The move comes as eBay cuts 2,400 jobs ahead of the planned spinoff of both eBay Enterprise and its PayPal business. Each division is putting its own stakes in the ground ahead of the divorce, and so far it appears the Enterprise group has the least leverage.

The ad separation also highlights something that several company sources have complained about for some time: That the Enterprise business, which is a combination of several acquisitions including GSI Commerce and Magento, was never fully integrated into the eBay business. That’s more clear than ever.

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