Photo: Patrick Nouhailler/ Flickr

 

The popular recipe for creating the “next” Silicon Valley goes something like this:

*Build a big, beautiful, fully equipped technology park;
*Mix in R&D labs and university centers;
*Provide incentives to attract scientists, firms, and users;
*Interconnect the industry through consortia and specialized suppliers;
*Protect intellectual property and tech transfer; and
*Establish a favorable business environment and regulations.

Except … this approach to innovation clusters hasn’t really worked. Some have even dismissed these government-driven efforts as “modern-day snake oil.” Yet policymakers are always searching for the next Silicon Valley because of the critical link between tech innovation, economic growth, and social opportunity. MORE

Image; Tobias Higbie

Image: Tobias Higbie

 THE ROBOT TWEETSTORMS by @PMARCA

One of the most interesting topics in modern times is the “robots eat all the jobs” thesis. It boils down to this: Computers can increasingly substitute for human labor, thus displacing jobs and creating unemployment. Your job, and every job, goes to a machine.

This sort of thinking is textbook Luddism, relying on a “lump-of-labor” fallacy – the idea that there is a fixed amount of work to be done. The counterargument to a finite supply of work comes from economist Milton Friedman — Human wants and needs are infinite, which means there is always more to do. I would argue that 200 years of recent history confirms Friedman’s point of view.

If the Luddites had it wrong in the early 19th century, the only way their line of reasoning works today is if you believe this time is different from those Industrial Revolution days. That either (a) There won’t be new wants and needs (which runs counter to human nature); or (b) It won’t matter that there are new wants and needs, most people won’t be able to adapt to, or contribute/have jobs in the new fields where those new wants and needs are being created.

While it is certainly true that technological change displaces current work and jobs (and that is a serious issue that must be addressed), it is equally true, and important, that the other result of each such change is a step-function increase in consumer standards of living.

As consumers, we virtually never resist technology change that provides us with better products and services even when it costs jobs. Nor should we. This is how we build a better world, improve our quality of life, better provide for our kids, and solve fundamental problems. Make no mistake, advocating for slowing technological change to preserve jobs equals advocating for the punishment of consumers, and stalling the march of quality of life improvements.

So how then to best help individuals who are buffeted by producer-side technology change and lose jobs they wish they could keep?

First: Focus on increasing access to education and skill development, which itself will increasingly be delivered via technology.

Second: Let markets work ( this means voluntary contracts and free trade) so that capital and labor can rapidly reallocate to create new fields and jobs.

Third: Create and sustain a vigorous social safety net so that people are not stranded and unable to provide for their families. The loop closes as rapid technological productivity improvement and resulting economic growth make it easy to pay for the safety net.

With these three things in place, humans will do what they always do: create things that address and/or create new wants and needs.

The flip side of robots eating jobs.

What never gets discussed in all of this robot fear-mongering is that the current technology revolution has put the  means of production within everyone’s grasp. It comes in the form of the smartphone (and tablet and PC) with a  mobile broadband connection to the Internet. Practically everyone on the planet will be equipped with that minimum spec by 2020.

What that means is that everyone gets access to unlimited information, communication, and education. At the same time, everyone has access to markets, and everyone has the tools to participate in the global market economy. This is not a world we have ever lived in.

Historically, most people — in most places – have been cut off from all these things, and usually to a high degree. But with that access, with those tools in the hands of billions, it is hard to believe that the result will not be a widespread global unleashing of creativity, productivity, and human potential. It is hard to believe that people will get these capabilities and then come up with … absolutely nothing useful to do with them?

And yet that is the subtext to the “this time is different” argument that there won’t be new ideas, fields, industries, businesses, and jobs. In arguing this with an economist friend, his response was, “But most people are like horses; they have only their manual labor to offer…” I don’t believe that, and I don’t want to live in a world in which that’s the case. I think people everywhere have far more potential.

There is a consequence to a growing robot workforce. Everything gets really cheap.

The main reason to use robots instead of people to make something is when the robot can make it less expensively. The converse is also true. When people can make something that costs less than what robots can make, then it makes economic sense to use people instead of robots. This is basic economic arbitrage at work. It sounds like it must be a controversial claim, but it’s simply following the economic logic.

Suppose humans make widget X profitably at a $10 price to consumer. Robots can make X at a $5 price to consumer.

Economics drive X to be made entirely by robots, and consumers win. But then imagine the owner of the robots cranks X price to the consumer to $20.

Suddenly it’s profitable for humans to make X again; entrepreneurs immediately start companies to make X with humans for price $10 again

Robots eat jobs in field X. What follows is that  products get cheaper in field X, and the consumer standard of living increases in field X — necessarily. Based on that logic, arguing against robots eating jobs is equivalent to arguing that we punish consumers with unnecessarily higher prices. Indeed, had robots/machines not eaten many jobs in agriculture and industry already, we would have a far lower standard of living today.

Just as increases in consumer goods prices disproportionately hurt the poor, holding back on robots eating jobs would also disproportionately hurt the poor. The same logic applies to trade barriers (import tariffs): These disproportionately hurt poor consumers by inflicting higher consumer goods prices.

Therefore, with rare exceptions, there won’t be states where robots eat jobs and products get more expensive. They almost always get cheaper.

A recessionary interlude.

Progressive and smart economist Jared Bernstein has explored the productivity puzzle of robots eating all the jobs (or not). He points out that productivity growth was up 1% last year, and has averaged 0.8% since 2011. But what he really focuses on is the smooth trend that tracks through the numbers.

The trend suggests that the pace of productivity growth has decelerated since the first half of the 2000s. That begs an important question that the robots-are-coming advocates need to answer: Why a phenomenon that should be associated with accelerating productivity is allegedly occurring over a fairly protracted period where the [productivity] trend in output per hour is going the other way?

My own take. We’re still coming out of a severe macroeconomic down cycle, the credit crisis, deleveraging, and the liquidity trap. The prevailing pessimistic economic theories — the death of innovation, the crisis of inequality and yes, robots eating all the jobs — will fade with recovery.

(For bonus points, identify the other tech-driven economic force that could explain low productivity at a time of great tech advancement. My nomination — tech-driven price deflation lowers prices, reduces measured GDP and productivity, while boosting consumer welfare.)

Thought experiment: Imagine a world in which all material needs are provided for free, by robots and material synthesizers.

Housing, energy, health care, food, and transportation – they’re all delivered to everyone for free by machines. Zero jobs in those fields remain.

Stick with me here. What would be the key characteristics of that world, and what would it be like to live in it? For starters, it’s a consumer utopia. Everyone enjoys a standard of living that kings and popes could have only dreamed of.

Since our basic needs are taken care of, all human time, labor, energy, ambition, and goals reorient to the intangibles: the big questions, the deep needs. Human nature expresses itself fully, for the first time in history. Without physical need constraints, we will be whoever we want to be.

The main fields of human endeavor will be culture, arts, sciences, creativity, philosophy, experimentation, exploration, and adventure.

A planet of slackers you say. Not at all. Rather than nothing to do, we would have everything to do. Curiosity, artistic and scientific creativity have full rein resulting in new forms of status-seeking (!).

Imagine 6 billion or 10 billion people doing nothing but arts and sciences, culture and exploring and learning. What a world that would be. The problem seems unlikely to be that we’ll get there too fast. The problem seems likely to be that we’ll get there too slow.

Utopian fantasy you say? OK, so then what’s your preferred long-term state? What else should we be shooting for, if not this?

Finally, note the thought experiment nature of this. Let’s be clear, this is an extrapolation of ideas, not a prediction for the next 50 years! And I am not talking about Marxism or communism, I’m talking about democratic capitalism to the nth degree. Nor am I postulating the end of money or competition or status seeking or will to power, rather the full extrapolation of each of those.

This is probably a good time to say that I don’t believe robots will eat all the jobs.

Why do I believe that?

First, robots and AI are not nearly as powerful and sophisticated as I think people are starting to fear. Really. With my venture capital and technologist hat on I wish they were, but they’re not. There are enormous gaps between what we want them to do, and what they can do.

What that means is there is still an enormous gap between what many people do in jobs today, and what robots and AI can replace.  And there will be for decades.

Second, even when robots and AI are far more powerful, there will still be many things that people can do that robots and AI can’t. For example: creativity, innovation, exploration, art, science, entertainment, and caring for others. We have no idea how to make machines do these.

Third, when automation is abundant and cheap, human experiences become rare and valuable. It flows from our nature as human beings. We see it all around us. The price of recorded music goes to zero, and the live music touring business explodes. The price of run-of-the-mill drip coffee drops, and the market for handmade gourmet coffee grows. You see this effect throughout luxury goods markets — handmade high-end clothes. This will extend out to far more consumers in future.

Fourth, just as most of us today have jobs that weren’t even invented 100 years ago, the same will be true 100 years from now. People 50, 100, 150, 200 years ago would marvel at the jobs that exist today; the same will be true 50, 100, 150, 200 years from now.

We have no idea what the fields, industries, businesses, and jobs of the future will be. We just know we will create an enormous number of them. Because if robots and AI replace people for many of the things we do today, the new fields we create will be built on the huge number of people those robots and AI systems made available. To argue that huge numbers of people will be available but we will find nothing for them (us) to do is to dramatically short human creativity.

And I am way long human creativity.

From “TWA – Death Of A Legend” by Elaine X. Grant in St. Louis Magazine, October 2005.
–––
Ask any ex-staffer what went wrong with the [bankrupt] airline, and you’ll get one answer: Carl Icahn, the corporate raider who took over TWA in 1985 and systematically stripped it of its assets…

In 1985, Icahn launched a sneak attack, buying up more than 20 percent of the airline’s stock…

Icahn, though he already had a fairly dark reputation for buying and breaking up companies, told TWA what it wanted to hear: He wanted to make it profitable…

But soon enough, the party was over. “It became more and more apparent that Carl was not interested in growing the airline but in using TWA as a financial vehicle to acquire wealth for himself,” [former TWA pilot Jeff] Darnall says.

In 1988, Icahn took what many consider the first step toward the airline’s demise: He took TWA private. Icahn received $469 million in the deal, and TWA got something a little less attractive: $540 million in debt…

In 1989, Icahn made another revealing move. According to Darnall, employees were anticipating an order for 100 or more airplanes to replenish TWA’s aging fleet. When the order was announced, it was for 12. “That was an indication to me that we had been hoodwinked,” Darnall says.

In 1991, Icahn did something that still causes twinges of pain for those who were there when it happened. He sold TWA’s prized London routes to American Airlines for $445 million.

“Selling the London routes was a killer,” says [former TWA pilot John] Gratz. “They were valuable as hell. The other things he did—trying to implement draconian procedures for everything, having people watch people—it’s all a hill of beans compared to losing those routes.”…

In 1992, TWA filed for bankruptcy, emerging in 1993 with its creditors owning 55 percent of the company. One of those creditors, to the tune of $190 million, was Icahn. He resigned as chairman in 1993, and by 1995 he was growing impatient to be repaid. TWA executives, desperate to bring the tragic Icahn chapter to a close, gave away the farm, the cows and the farmer’s wife. They came up with a deal called the Karabu ticket agreement, an eight-year arrangement that allowed Icahn to buy any ticket that connected through St. Louis… for 55 cents on the dollar and resell them at a discount.

Karabu blocked Icahn from selling the tickets through travel agents, but it didn’t even mention the embryonic Internet, where he immediately set up Lowestfare.com and commenced to bleed TWA dry, one ticket at a time. “He put downward pressure on the amount TWA could sell tickets for because we were essentially competing with ourselves,” Gratz says.

American Airlines later estimated that Karabu cost TWA $100 million a year…

TWA didn’t go out of business in 1995, but it did go into bankruptcy—again…

As American Airlines was preparing to take over TWA, another potential buyer emerged: Carl Icahn. That was all it took. As had happened 16 years earlier, when the fear of Frank Lorenzo drove TWA’s employees into the arms of an arguably deadlier foe, the specter of Icahn, who made a $1.1-billion offer and said he would keep the airline independent while demanding labor concessions and making job cuts, made the American offer seem aglow with promise.

The bankruptcy judge dismissed Icahn’s offer as a joke, but even if it had been seriously considered, he had earned such a bitter reputation with TWA’s rank and file that they would have willingly marched off the American Airlines plank anyway.

[TWA flew its last flight on December 1, 2001.]

Important Additional Information

eBay Inc., its directors and certain of its executive officers are participants in the solicitation of proxies from stockholders in connection with eBay’s 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. eBay has filed a preliminary proxy statement and form of WHITE proxy card with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) in connection with the 2014 Annual Meeting. EBAY STOCKHOLDERS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO READ THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTS) AND ACCOMPANYING WHITE PROXY CARD WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE AS THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

Information regarding the names of eBay’s directors and executive officers and their respective interests in eBay by security holdings or otherwise is set forth in eBay’s preliminary proxy statement for the 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, filed with the SEC on March 10, 2014.

This document, in addition to any definitive proxy statement (and amendments or supplements thereto) and other documents filed by eBay with the SEC, are available for no charge at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov and at eBay’s investor relations website at http://investor.ebayinc.com. Copies may also be obtained by contacting eBay Investor Relations by mail at 2065 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, California 95125 or by telephone at 866-696-3229.

On Monday, Carl Icahn claimed to have uncovered evidence of a “workaround of the technology that was the subject of the licensing dispute between eBay and Skype’s founders and that was reportedly the cause of Microsoft ‘walking away’ [from buying Skype as an alternative to eBay selling Skype to the Silver Lake syndicate].” (1)

There was no workaround.

There was speculation about and discussion of a potential workaround.

I never believed it would work.

Had there been a workaround, the Skype syndicate wouldn’t have had to settle the litigation with the founders and include them in the syndicate, which would have made the Skype transaction more profitable for the other members of the syndicate, which included eBay and Andreessen Horowitz.

Mr. Icahn’s latest conspiracy theory is not only imaginary and false — it also flunks basic logic.

(1) http://www.shareholderssquaretable.com/we-believe-based-on-evidence-we-have-newly-uncovered-that-donahoes-inexcusable-incompetence-cost-ebay-stockholders-over-4-billion/

Important Additional Information

eBay Inc., its directors and certain of its executive officers are participants in the solicitation of proxies from stockholders in connection with eBay’s 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. eBay has filed a preliminary proxy statement and form of WHITE proxy card with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) in connection with the 2014 Annual Meeting. EBAY STOCKHOLDERS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO READ THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTS) AND ACCOMPANYING WHITE PROXY CARD WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE AS THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

Information regarding the names of eBay’s directors and executive officers and their respective interests in eBay by security holdings or otherwise is set forth in eBay’s preliminary proxy statement for the 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, filed with the SEC on March 10, 2014.

This document, in addition to any definitive proxy statement (and amendments or supplements thereto) and other documents filed by eBay with the SEC, are available for no charge at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov and at eBay’s investor relations website at http://investor.ebayinc.com. Copies may also be obtained by contacting eBay Investor Relations by mail at 2065 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, California 95125 or by telephone at 866-696-3229.

Excerpts from James B. Stewart’s book “Den of Thieves”:

Ivan Boesky’s longtime friend, Carl Icahn, suggested that Boesky look into the shares of Gulf + Western, a force both in Hollywood, with its Paramount Pictures unit, and in publishing, with Simon & Schuster. Both businesses appealed strongly to Boesky’s escalating ambitions, and Icahn told Boesky he thought Gulf + Western shares were “significantly undervalued.” Boesky began amassing a position, stopping at just under the 5% level that would require public disclosure.

Boesky remained in close contact with Icahn, who also owned a large stake in Gulf + Western. Together, they had just under 10% of the company, making them formidable shareholders. So Icahn suggested that the two of them, “as two shareholders,” visit Martin Davis, Gulf + Western’s chairman. Boesky obtained an opinion from his lawyers that he and Icahn weren’t a “group.” If so, they would have had to [as required by federal securities law] make a public disclosure of their holdings and their intentions. …

Now that Boesky had become a shareholder as large as Icahn, Davis felt he had no choice but to meet with them. He invited them to dine with him on September 5 in his private dining room atop the Gulf + Western building at the southwestern corner of Central Park. Davis made Boesky’s bodyguard check his weapon with Gulf + Western’s own security guards. Boesky didn’t like that, but otherwise he lavished praise on Davis, saying he thought Gulf + Western to be an “exceptional company.” Davis he described as an “exceptional manager” and an “outstanding manager.” Davis was immediately suspicious. Boesky was laying it on too thick, and Davis found it obnoxious.

That evening, in the wake of all the praise, Boesky and Icahn proposed a leveraged buyout in which the company would be taken private, with Icahn and Boesky owning it, along with management. Davis would remain as chairman, they assured him. With G + W stock in the low forties, they were prepared to offer $52 a share, an amount, Boesky said, that could leave Davis with “$100 million in your pocket.”

Davis was appalled. “You’d be raping the shareholders,” he exclaimed. Davis deemed the proposal to be little more than an attempt at bribing him to sell the company at a low price. Boesky agreed that it was a lowball bid, but seemed unfazed. “You’d be my partner,” Boesky said, as odious a prospect as Davis could imagine.

Davis prudently said he’d consider the suggestion. Unlike many chairmen of public companies, he’d often said his principal goal was to increase shareholder value, and he wouldn’t reject takeover bids out of hand. Too many managements were stealing companies through LBOs at scandalously low prices, however, and he wasn’t about to join their ranks. He told Icahn and Boesky that he liked running a public company, and wanted to keep it that way. He phoned Boesky soon after, politely rejecting their suggestion for a leveraged buyout. …

Boesky called Davis, and this time the lavish praise and warmth were conspicuously absent. He threatened to go up to 9.9%, adding “I want two seats on the board.” Davis was firm. “That’s not going to happen. You’re not welcome. Period.”

Boesky paused briefly, and said, “Then buy me out.” He asked for $45 a share; the stock had closed that day at $44. “Absolutely not,” Davis replied. “When the stock trades at $45, I’ll entertain the possibility of buying you out.” The company had recently announced a plan to buy back its own stock, but Davis wasn’t about to pay greenmail, which was what Boesky and Icahn now wanted. …

[Boesky later told federal officials] about his visits to Gulf + Western with Icahn, a possible 13-D [federal securities law] violation…

Conspicuous by his absence [in federal prosecutions following the corporate raider saga of the 1980s] was the once formidable raider Carl Icahn, who figured so prominently in the Gulf + Western manipulation charges and who had been included in Boesky’s initial proffer to the government. Icahn was never charged with a crime… Prosecutors had never been able to prove that Icahn and Boesky had acted as a “group,” within the meaning of securities laws, when they joined to threaten Gulf + Western, even though their behavior had had virtually the same effect as if they had.

___

New York Times, 12/19/87, http://www.nytimes.com/1987/12/19/business/boesky-sentenced-to-3-years-in-jail-in-insider-scandal.html:

Ivan F. Boesky, once among the financial world’s most powerful speculators and now a symbol of Wall Street’s excesses, was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison…

The United States Attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, expressed satisfaction with the sentence. Other lawyers and Wall Street officials said it was somewhat lenient but in line with their expectations. Mr. Giuliani called the three-year prison term “a heavy sentence,” emphasizing its importance to deterring white-collar crime. He said it was “well deserved…”

Important Additional Information

eBay Inc., its directors and certain of its executive officers are participants in the solicitation of proxies from stockholders in connection with eBay’s 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.  eBay has filed a preliminary proxy statement and form of WHITE proxy card with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) in connection with the 2014 Annual Meeting.  EBAY STOCKHOLDERS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO READ THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTS) AND ACCOMPANYING WHITE PROXY CARD WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE AS THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

Information regarding the names of eBay’s directors and executive officers and their respective interests in eBay by security holdings or otherwise is set forth in eBay’s preliminary proxy statement for the 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, filed with the SEC on March 10, 2014.

This document, in addition to any definitive proxy statement (and amendments or supplements thereto) and other documents filed by eBay with the SEC, are available for no charge at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov and at eBay’s investor relations website at http://investor.ebayinc.com.  Copies may also be obtained by contacting eBay Investor Relations by mail at 2065 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, California 95125 or by telephone at 866-696-3229.

Carl Icahn 2014, on eBay:

“I have never seen what looks to me to be such blatant disregard for fiduciary obligations to stockholders.” (1)

Carl Icahn 2005, according to the Washington Post: (2)

Carl Icahn is chairman of the board of XO and owns more than 60 percent of the company, a telecom-crash survivor that provides telephone and data communications services for businesses, using conventional wires and new-generation wireless hookups.

Just over a week ago, XO announced it is selling the wired part of its business for $700 million.

Selling it to . . . Carl Icahn.

XO said it will use most of the $700 million it gets from Icahn to pay back its debts and buy back its preferred stock.

Debt and stock owned by . . . Carl Icahn.

Companies he owns and controls hold all $213 million worth of XO’s preferred stock and more than 90 percent of its $392 million in debt, XO financial reports show.

The bottom line is that Icahn & company will give $700 million to XO. Then XO will give $600 million of that back to Icahn. He will end up owning XO’s traditional wired phone business outright. And he will still own his 60 percent stake in what’s left of XO.

Buyer and seller, debtor and creditor, Icahn’s simultaneous roles may sound like potential conflicts of interest. But in Securities and Exchange Commission filings, XO explains that a special committee of its board of directors weighed Icahn’s bid and declared it the best of the offers the company got for its wired business. Investment bankers determined Icahn’s offer to be “fair.” The stockholders will have the final say — they must vote on the transaction before it can go through.

Of course, stockholder approval is a foregone conclusion. As the company noted in one of its filings, “Mr. Icahn owns sufficient shares of our common stock . . . to assure the approval and adoption” of what he wants to do.

And the directors named by Icahn hired the investment bankers who put their stamp of approval on his offer.

XO referred questions about Icahn’s role in all these maneuvers to his office in New York; Icahn did not respond.

(1) http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2014/02/28/fists-swinging-icahn-says-ebay-in-state-denial/

(2) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/13/AR2005111300681_pf.html

Important Additional Information

eBay Inc., its directors and certain of its executive officers are participants in the solicitation of proxies from stockholders in connection with eBay’s 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.  eBay intends to file a proxy statement and WHITE proxy card with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) in connection with such solicitation.  EBAY STOCKHOLDERS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO READ ANY SUCH PROXY STATEMENT (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTS) AND ACCOMPANYING WHITE PROXY CARD WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE AS THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

Information regarding the names of eBay’s directors and executive officers and their respective interests in eBay by security holdings or otherwise is set forth in eBay’s proxy statement for the 2013 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, filed with the SEC on March 18, 2013.  To the extent holdings of such participants in eBay’s securities have changed since the amounts described in the 2013 proxy statement, such changes have been reflected on Initial Statements of Beneficial Ownership on Form 3 or Statements of Change in Ownership on Form 4 filed with the SEC. Additional information can also be found in eBay’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, filed with the SEC on January 31, 2014.  

These documents, including any proxy statement (and amendments or supplements thereto) and other documents filed by eBay with the SEC, are available for no charge at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov and at eBay’s investor relations website at http://investor.ebayinc.com.  Copies may also be obtained by contacting eBay Investor Relations by mail at 2065 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, California 95125 or by telephone at 866-696-3229.