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Could Google’s Ticket Ad Crackdown Help or Harm eBay?

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Feb. 12 2018, Updated 10:33 a.m. ET

StubHub revenue increases 10%

In 4Q17, eBay’s (EBAY) StubHub, one of the world’s largest online ticket exchange platforms, brought in $307 million in revenue (~12% of eBay’s overall revenue). StubHub has been one of the company’s fastest-growing businesses.

StubHub revenue increased 10% YoY (year-over-year) in 4Q17, while Marketplace, eBay’s largest business, saw revenue growth of 6.0% YoY. Company-wide, revenue grew 9.0% YoY.

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Google tightens ad regulations for secondary ticketing market

Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google recently rolled out updated advertising policies demanding more advertising transparency from ticket sellers in the secondary market. Google will not allow ticket resellers to purchase ads on its platforms if their websites do not clearly show that they operate a secondary ticketing marketplace. Google ties its decision to require more ad transparency from ticket resellers to a need to improve protection for its users. Ticket resellers have faced accusations such as overcharging buyers. Facebook (FB) is also pushing out deceptive advertisers from its platform.

Google could eliminate some competition for eBay

Google’s clampdown on the secondary ticketing market may help weed out unscrupulous providers and create more room for eBay’s StubHub to grow. In 4Q17, Amazon’s (AMZN) and Alibaba’s (BABA) revenue grew faster than eBay’s. As the e-commerce competition heats up, ticket resale is one area eBay could capitalize on to accelerate its growth, because it already has a lead.

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