Sparks have flown between search engine giant Google and online auction site eBay over marketing and promotions.

Google had planned to host a party to celebrate the launch of PayPal rival Google Checkout in Boston, during a three-day gathering of eBay users taking place in the same city.

The relationship then altered between the two companies, which have been successful partners for some time, after eBay opted to remove all of its keyworded advertising from the US pages of the search engine.

Catherine England, a spokesperson for eBay, commented: "Were we happy with the decision to host the party?

"No. We didn’t think it was a great way to engage a partner. We were really pleased when they cancelled it.”

Google claims that Google Checkout will enable web users to shop more quickly, easily and safely when using e-commerce portals.

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