Online search-engine leader Google is preparing to introduce an electronic payment system later this year in a move that would pose a financial...

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Online search-engine leader Google is preparing to introduce an electronic payment system later this year in a move that would pose a financial threat to one of its biggest advertisers, Internet auctioneer eBay.

The Wall Street Journal reported Google’s plans on its Web site late yesterday, citing sources familiar with the Mountain View-based company’s plans. The Journal did not provide any details about Google’s strategy.

A Google spokesman declined to comment on the report.

The likelihood of Google rolling out an online payment system to rival eBay’s popular PayPal service became a hot topic during an Internet conference hosted Thursday by Piper Jaffray.

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“It could be a pretty big negative for eBay if it happens,” said Piper Jaffray analyst Safa Rashtchy.

PayPal accounted for $233.1 million, or 23 percent, of eBay’s revenue during the first quarter.