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eBay’s Business Format: An example of Participatory Democracy?
EBay’s business format suggests that it is a marketplace built on trading on trust which is regulated by the participants of the online community. It is the most recognizable online service provider with respect to online auctions worldwide. India though in the incipient stages of online auctioning represents a large and willing market. It is interesting to fathom whether eBay’s persistent declaration on it ‘not being the traditional auctioneer’ hold in light of its business model and the treatment meted out to it in case of a crime which cannot be adequately addressed by a developing country anxious to protect its citizens from the larger cloud of crimes which can be perpetrated by such a business model. Here, I analyzed the eBay business model and compared the user agreements and texts among eBay, Sothebys, PayPal and Paisa Pay. Further, an analysis of Indian jurisprudence on online auctioneer liability and the subsequent legislation was performed to determine the impact of the business model on a developing country.