Google CEO Eric Schmidt told the Associated Press late today that Google is not going to compete directly with PayPal. But it was a somewhat tricksy denial, with Schmidt saying that Google won’t tread on PayPal’s turf, saying, “[Google does] not intend to offer a person-to-person, stored-value payments system.”
Why is this tricksy? Because it is highly contingent, with the compound condition of “person-to-person” and “stored value”. If Google doesn’t store value or, more likely, has a payment system that is tied to Froogle purchases and/or blog/AdSense payments then that would be okay, under Schmidt’s definition.
The trouble is, at least from eBay’s point-of-view, once Google is successful in one area of micropayments there will be immense pressure for the company to broaden its product offering — putting it square in PayPal territory, albeit a year or two from now as opposed to today.