Ethical Consumer viewed the Center for Responsive Politics website, www.opensecrets.org, in August 2018.

Ebay and its employees had given $176,606 to US political parties in 2018, with 58% going to Democrats.

It had also spent $830,000 on lobbying.

Reference:

Open Secrets website 2018 (2018)

In February 2015 Corporate Europe Observatory published a stakeholder map put together by the UK government, released under Freedom of Information rules. The stakeholder map listed businesses, civil society groups and corporate lobby groups position on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

eBay was listed as being supportive of TTIP. It was listed as having an interest in the customs and trade facilitation chapter, and alternative dispute resolution.

TTIP was said to became the biggest trade deal in the world if it was to succeed. The deal aims to remove ‘non-tariff barriers to trade’ which would benefit big business, but threatens to undermine safety regulations, workers’ rights, environmental protection rules and food standard regulations.

Companies supporting TTIP therefore lost a mark under Ethical Consumer's political activities category.

Reference:

TTIP Stakeholder Grid (February 2015)

In 2018 Ethical Consumer consulted its list of the members of groups it considered to be free trade lobby groups, updated in March 2018.

Ebay was listed as a member of World Economic Forum, Coalition of Service Industries, National Foreign Trade Council and US Council for International Business.

Ethical Consumer considered these to be groups that campaigned for free trade to the possible detriment of people, plants and animals.

Reference:

Ethical Consumer Lobby Group member list (8 March 2018)

In August 2018 Ethical Consumer veiwed eBay's family tree on the website hoovers.com.

Ebay had many high risk companies in jurisdictions considered to be tax havens by Ethical Consumer at the time of writing, including eBay International AG and eBay Holding gmbh, both holding companies based in Switzerland, with subsidiaries in other countries.

Ebay's Annual Report was checked but contained no country-by-country tax reporting. It was also notable that ebay was registered in Delaware, also considered a tax haven by Ethical Consumer at the time of writing, although its head office was in California.

As a result ebay received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies.

Reference:

Generic Hoovers ref 2018 (2018)

According to the Guardian, in March 2016, eBay were to be held liable, in some cases, for VAT fraud committed by overseas sellers using their websites – and costing Britain hundreds of millions of pounds a year in lost tax receipts.

The chancellor of the UK was giving tax inspectors new powers to warn high-risk overseas sellers active in the UK through eBay and other online market places. If, after those warnings, sellers do not correctly collect VAT within 30 days, eBay and Amazon coulc be held liable for the missing tax.

The Treasury estimated that this measure woulc recoup £875m in lost VAT receipts over the next four years – though it is not expected to halt tax fraud altogether. The total cost to the taxpayer of this abuse was officially estimated at £1bn to £1.5bn a year.

Reference:

amazon-ebay-liable-vat-sellers-budget-2016 (31 March 2016)

According to eBay's 2017 form DEF14a filed with the US government, four directors received more than £1 million in 2017, the amount that Ethical Consumer considers excessive. The highest paid received $17,670,591.

Reference:

Form DEF14a 2017 (21 August 2018)