Following Google’s announcement of the Google Wallet, Paypal files suit (PDF) against two Google employees. Osama Bedier, Google’s vice president of payments, and Stephanie Tilenius, Google’s vice president of commerce,are both charged with using confidential information from Paypal in their roles developing Google’s mobile payment product.
From the Paypal blog:
“We spend a lot of time and energy creating the things that make PayPal unique and a preferred way to pay for almost 100 million people around the world. We treat PayPal’s “secrets” seriously, and take it personally when someone else doesn’t. So we made a decision today. We filed a lawsuit against Google and two former colleagues who now work there, Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius.”
Google responds, Techcrunch:
“Last night, I asked Google for a comment. It took them a while, but a spokesperson just emailed me the following statement:
“Silicon Valley was built on the ability of individuals to use their knowledge and expertise to seek better employment opportunities, an idea recognized by both California law and public policy. We respect trade secrets, and will defend ourselves against these claims.”
Let’s parse this statement a bit. Google is saying that talented employees should be able to take their knowledge with them as they “seek better employment opportunities.” In other words, people can work wherever they want, and Google is a much better place to work than PayPal, so if Bedier wanted to switch jobs, who can blame him?”
Behind the scenes from Gigaom:
“Bedier, however is merely a pawn in the much larger game of mobile payments. PayPal, Amazon and Apple, along with the major carriers, have access to what Google sorely lacks: an entry to the customer’s wallet. And because the company doesn’t have access to these wallets, it’s locked out of the most lucrative part of the mobile ecosystem, and is left to pick up the crumbs via mobile advertising.
All is not well at Google, even with the help of its new hires. Our sources say there is a lot of internal debate at Google about its payment strategy, with some folks wanting to appease the carriers and have them become the payment options. Others disagree and are insistent that Google develop its own payment system – and rightfully so. Multiple sources have described the internal debates as political.”