Internet auction site eBay has blamed its former sister company, PayPal, for forcing it to shut down its European headquarters in Ireland.
The online auction house is expected to close its International Operations Centre in Dundalk, Co Louth, in spring next year. The company said PayPal, the online payments firm with which it shares the building and which took control of it after both firms split last year, has asked it to leave.
“We can confirm that PayPal has served us notice as tenants of its Dundalk facility. 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,” said an eBay spokesman.
EBay bought PayPal in 2002 but the partners were split into two separate companies in July last year. PayPal took over as landlords of the Dundalk facility and eBay became tenants. It is understood PayPal is planning to expand its business next year at the Louth operation and wanted the extra space.
EBay trumpeted the opening of its European, Middle East, and Africa operations just three years ago — vowing to employ 1,450 people. The company is expected to launch a consultation process shortly.
Declan Breathnach, TD for Louth, said workers had been left in the dark about their future: “There was a series of rumours doing the rounds in recent months that eBay would seek to close its operation in Dundalk, and unfortunately this rumour has now been confirmed by management at the company.
“It’s simply unacceptable that the workers have had to put up with these rumours for months without any clarification being provided by management. 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.”
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