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EBay founder rejects Icahn's call for PayPal spinoff

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[February 28, 2014]  (Reuters) - EBay Inc founder and Chairman Pierre Omidyar rejected investor Carl Icahn's call to separate the company's fast-growing PayPal payments unit, saying the businesses were better off together.

Omidyar, who is the largest shareholder in eBay with a stake of 8.37 percent, said separating PayPal from eBay was not a new idea and the board had evaluated the option but decided to keep the businesses together.

Icahn, who disclosed a 2.15 percent stake in the e-commerce company last week, had also accused two long-time eBay board members, Marc Andreessen and Scott Cook, of having business interests that directly competed with eBay.

"Instead of having an honest discussion about a reasonable question, Mr. Icahn has chosen to attack the integrity of two highly respected and qualified board members, Scott Cook and Marc Andreessen," Omidyar said in a statement.

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen defended the corporate-governance practices of the technology industry in an interview with the Wall Street Journal saying, "If I'm on a public board and that public company is looking at buying a company in a certain space and one of my startups is in that space, I will not be part of that conversation."

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"This has been established over decades of corporate governance and there's nothing unique to tech about it," Andreessen told the Journal. (http://link.reuters.com/ved37v)

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Varun Aggarwal in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Supriya Kurane)

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