Internet telephony provider Jajah has been offering since last week “click-to-call” buttons that could be used by customers and friends to call subscribers toll-free. Jajah expected these buttons to go into online commerce sites, social networking sites, and yes auction sites like eBay.
On Thursday, however, the company’s plans seem to have run foul of eBay Inc., which owns another Internet telephony company, called Skype.
In some countries eBay informed Jajah sellers that the Jajah voice communication service is not allowed on the marketplace, according to release on Thursday by Jajah.
The release says that eBay’s email to Jajah seller’s states: “The listing was removed because it violated the eBay Inappropriate Links policy… links or other connections to live chat systems are not permitted.”
EBay has not yet commented on this development, which on the face of it appears like a restrictive trade practice favoring eBay’s Skype.
On Monday, eBay, of San Jose, California, said it was taking a US$1.43 billion charge related to its acquisition of Skype, and said it may have paid extra for the buy.
While Jajah got positive feedback from within eBay in several countries, in other countries it saw eBay removing listings that contain Jajah buttons, said Jajah co-founder Roman Scharf. The company did not specify in which countries the Jajah buttons had been removed.
A spat with eBay could give Jajah much needed mileage and publicity, as it will be likely seen as the under-dog in the dispute.