For many years, online auction giant eBay and the world’s most famous online payment processor, PayPal, enjoyed a wholly prosperous relationship. Then last year, the companies decided to part ways, and now, eBay is pointing the finger at the PayPal withdrawal for causing them to lose their European head office in the UK.
eBay has announced the anticipated closure of its International Operations Centre, located in Dundalk, Co Louth, Ireland, as early as Spring 2017. The online auction company said it’s being forced out of the office building by PayPal.
In 2002, eBay acquired PayPal, and in 2013, opened international offices in regions all over the world, including Europe, Africa and The Middle East. Operating under the eBay umbrella, PayPal was brought along with them to work out of the European headquarters. Thus the two companies have shared the office space for years now, long before they agreed to split off once more into two separate companies.
But when the segregation was finalized in July 2015, PayPal assumed ownership of the Ireland property. Based on their mutually affable relationship, eBay was allowed to continue hosting its European operations from their existing office as a tenant.
PayPal Tells eBay, ‘You’re Out!‘
The landlord/tenant relationship was going just fine up until recently, when eBay announced they’ve been served an official notice by their former partner to evacuate the premises.
“We can confirm that PayPal has served us notice as tenants of its Dundalk facility,” read a statement from an eBay spokesman. “We will begin a formal consultation process with our colleagues in Dundalk and will share any further information with them as a matter of priority.”
Reports indicate that PayPal’s intentions have nothing to do with a grudge against their former parent company. Conversely, the online payment processor is looking to expand its operations in Europe, and needs the additional office space – currently occupied by eBay – to do it.
Employees Left In The Dark
Louth’s Teachta Dála (TD) – the English equivalent of an MP – Declan Breathnach, expressed concern over the situation, claiming workers at the eBay office were, for the most part, left in the dark, unaware of the severity of ongoing developments.
“There was a series of rumours doing the rounds in recent months that eBay would seek to close its operation in Dundalk,” said Breathnach. “And unfortunately this rumour has now been confirmed by management at the company.”
His vehemence over the virtual blindsiding was evident. “It’s simply unacceptable that the workers have had to put up with these rumours for months without any clarification being provided by management,” Breathnach continued. “Serious questions also have to be asked as to why eBay decided to close its operations just over three years after moving its European HQ to Dundalk.”
eBay can go on blaming the mutually agreed upon PayPal withdrawal, and the online payment processor’s subsequent call for expansion, all it wants, but that doesn’t solve any of the current issues raised by their impending eviction from the office in Ireland. No mention has been made of whether eBay intends to relocate, perhaps securing another office space in or near Dundalk (potentially saving the jobs of its employees), or maybe setting up shop elsewhere in the UK, or anywhere in Europe, for that matter.