As an early fan of the Half.com trading site -- where folks peddle books, films, games, and music at prices that that are no more than their original list price -- I was excited to see eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) acquire the company four years ago. It's not so much that I wanted to see a quality outfit like Half.com run with eBay's deeper pockets. It's just that I figured that Half.com was as close as a competitor would ever get to eBay.

Why would folks pay listing fees on eBay when they could stock up Half.com on consignment? Apparently, eBay felt the same way and did the smart thing by buying what could potentially be a better mousetrap.

No one really came that close to eBay again. Even as Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) launched auction sites and online discounters like Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) roared to life, eBay became the definitive place to get cool things at even cooler prices.

While it has been years since I had put anything up for sale on Half.com, I'll admit that I wasn't looking forward to October 14 -- the day on which eBay had intended to shut Half.com down for good.

While I understood why a company could buy a rival just to shut it down, eBay had let Half.com flourish for too long. Why kill it now? Both sites had co-existed just fine. That was obvious by eyeing eBay's stunning growth, serving as an intermediary for nearly $30 billion worth of transactions over the past year alone.

But why would eBay shut Half.com if that move would simply open up the playing field for someone else to imitate the half-priced model and take swings at eBay? That's just not the way a company protects its moat.

Thankfully eBay realizes this. Yesterday it sent an email to Half.com's registered users explaining that the consignment site would not be closing down after all. With business steady and many of its users not ready to migrate over to eBay, Half.com is doing the right thing by sticking around. So move on, jealous eBay rivals. There is nothing to see here.

Now that's a moat!

Have you ever bought or sold on Half.com? Do you agree with Rick in thinking that eBay is doing the right thing by keeping Half.com running? All this and more -- in the eBay Discussion Board. Only on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is happy to see Half.com has more than a half-life. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.