back to article Thanks for suggesting eBay should flog PayPal. It's not happening, CEO tells Carl Icahn

eBay has rejected a call from activist investor Carl Icahn to spin off its PayPal division into a separate company. John Donahoe, chief exec of the online marketplace, said that he had spoken with Icahn but the board and management believed that eBay and PayPal would do better if they stayed together. "The synergies are clear …


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  1. JayBizzle

    Mr Icahn likes to give people headaches doesn't he?

    What ever floats your boat I suppose.

    1. jai

      Apple seem to be ignoring him so he's working through the rest of his portfolio and giving them a poke with a stick to see if they'll do as he asks regardless of whether it is in the companies best interest, or just his.

      Is he trying to make quick profits on his investments? Or maybe he just like seeing his name in the headlines?

      1. Darryl

        "Is he trying to make quick profits on his investments? Or maybe he just like seeing his name in the headlines?"


        1. Fatman

          "Is he trying to make quick profits on his investments? Or maybe he just like seeing his name in the headlines?"

          HELL Yes!!!!


      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Is he trying to make quick profits on his investments? Or maybe he just like seeing his name in the headlines?

        No, he's trying to get a successful arm of a business spun off, so he can invest in it. Get a bigger stake in it, and maybe if he's lucky get enough of a stake to take control of it. All the while receiving more in profits from his investment.

  2. James 51

    Carl Icahn, is it his life's mission to see how big of a pain he can be to sucessful companies?

  3. D@v3


    i wish people would stop calling this Icahn creature an 'activist'. It gives real activists a bad name.

    I would give you some better suggestions of what to call 'him', but i don't have sufficient bleach on hand to cleanse myself afterwards.

    1. Adrian 4

      Re: activist?

      Maybe 'back seat driver' ?

      1. John McCallum

        Re: activist?

        "Back seat driver"

        Try again.

        Pain in the arse.

        Recipient of the Grande Order of the Wooden Spoon.

        Asset Stripper.

        Perm any ones that you like.

        1. fishman

          Re: activist?

          Asset Stripper? More like Asset Rapist.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: activist?

      "It gives real activists a bad name."

      No worse than they have already.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: activist?


        Oh, aye, all activists are bad. The status quo is good! The rich need to get richer. The poor need to get poorer. Screw the environment, the future, children, old people, minorities, men, women, the infirm, the insane and any other group that isn't currently making out like a bandit.

        Individuals need to have less control over their lives (unless they're part of the 1%) and governments need to keep pissing away money spying on their own citizens in preparation to put down the inevitable revolt.

        I guess that all makes perfect sense...if you're part of the 1%. Me, I'm not. So I'll loudly disagree with you. Not all activists - or causes - are good...but a fair number are. Seems to me "activist" only has a bad name as a category amongst those who butter their bread at the expense of others.

        Now lobbyist on the other hand, that leaves a sour taste. Probably because of the acidity of all that money wrecking the atmosphere...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: activist?

          There goes Pott again. Like a wind-up Michael Moore doll.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: activist?

            It must really bother you, AC, to know that there actually exist people in this world who care about more than just themselves. The real question is...why?

    3. Lars Silver badge

      Re: activist?

      Vulture of schizophrenia . "how to kill and get away with the boot" Shakespeare 2014.

  4. lglethal Silver badge

    Have to agree with the board...

    If I was in charge of a company that was seeing revenue and income rising by 16% and 9% respectively, then I think I would not really be changing too much.

    I wonder if dear Mr Icahn's portfolio is growing by so much... I doubt it...

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Have to agree with the board...

      I rather think it is, actually.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long before Ebay sellers can choose to accept payments through paypal in Bitcoins?

    Today an auction cannot be held in Bitcoins. But if the seller wished Bitcoins to be used, then why not?

    Paypal provides a nice service whereby payment can be returned if goods are not quite right. This would still be viable if they accepted bitcoins.

    Only a matter of time.

  6. Mage Silver badge

    Asset Stripper

    Totally to character. He's not an Activist or Investor. But a Speculator and Asset Stripper.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No one in their right-mind would flog PayPal, 3% minimum of every transaction passing under their noses? Not just through eBay either, I use PayPal to my sell my photo licenses from my hobby as it's simply easier for me as I am not a registered business, easier than messing about with cheques or cash transfers. They might as well just line up the printer and watch those notes churn out!

    1. Piro Silver badge


      ebay and paypal together make a profit machine, the idea of splitting them apart is braindead.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Exactly

        Why split up, eBay charge you for creating an auction and then take a slice of any money earned. Paypal then charge you for transferring any money and it all goes back to eBay HQ. Triple wallop on its users and a nice bank balance for the shareholders !

      2. zb

        Re: Exactly

        I used to buy eBay a lot but they made it so difficult to use without Paypal that I had to give up. Now I mostly use Amazon but do miss the auctions. Paypal is about as useful and safe as sending a fist full of fivers by post.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Ebay, don't drink the wine

    I see Mr Icahn of Burke & Hare Associates is yet circling another victim to sell of for spare parts.

  9. Sir Barry

    When paypal is contributing 40% of revenue to the company why would eBay spin it off?

    Icahn just buys into a business and then tries disruption tactics so he can make a profit, he should get out and do a real job.

    I was going to use loads of swearwords and call him names, but waited 5 minutes to calm down before posting.


  10. Michael Thibault


    That is all.

  11. Andrew Moore

    He then concluded the press conference by singing "Anything you can do, Icahn do better"...

  12. Daemon-Byte

    Given that these days a lot of small retailers either start on ebay or include ebay as a distribution then ensuring that they use paypal for one would pretty much ensure they would use it for both, no? Clearly this guy is just talking ****

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is he right?

    As Amazon, which doesn't use paypal, is growing at a faster rate, is he right? I won't use paypal as a buyer because of their reputation. As a seller I might consider doing so. I don't buy from Ebay if the seller wants to use paypal rather than a credit card or cash. I buy from Amazon whenever possible as a preferred source.

    Paypal is now an established finance business and probably could attract a better share price as a service in it's own right. This would allow Ebay to look more closely to see where it's future lays. I believe Gumtree and a few others are beginning to eat into the auction market place.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ebay and paypal

    they're like, sooooo last year :D

  15. Old Handle


    You call it synergy, I call it double billing. Get rid of PayPal and I might actually consider using eBay again.

  16. mike panero

    Mr iCan and the Luftwaffe

    Reading the Book Of Knowledge bit on Mr Icahn and he seems to have distroyed far more businesses than the RAF and Luftwaffe combined.

    Does anyone know if he has left any for Odin?

  17. Ben Burch

    Icahn is a parasite. I wish he would get abducted by space aliens and returned in 1000 years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why return?

  18. swschrad

    Arrr, me mateys, now ye friends all hand over yarrr loot, too

    Icann is just a greenmailing pirate, that's all he does. buy some stock and bring a gun into the boardroom. other men, better men, send two guys who look around, flick ashes on the ledger, and say, "Nice little business ya got here. shame if anything happens to it. we'se here to sell ya some insurance, cabish?"

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What and why?

    Hmmm....what is he? Icahn artist....

    Why? Because Icahn.....

    People like him give corporate raiders and locusts a bad name....

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