Hmmm... some people are so negative about this.
What I see here is a potential breeding project.
If you were to take those bigger King bettas and cross them with a big ear, there's a possible chance of creating a fish with" big ears" that has the muscle to use them. Eventually the King X big ear would grow stronger and develop its muscles in certain places to allow swimming to become easier.
I do agree that $50 is expensive. But it is possible, believe it or not, to buy healthy bettas from petco. I have 3 petco bettas who came from the store, to my house in perfect condition and they've been healthy for the past 2 years.
Not everything has to be bad.
I'm not saying I know all about this, but I'm just looking at a more positive side to the big ear.
The big ear shown in the petco picture does look weird, but that doesn't mean they all look like that. I've drawn betta lover1507's big ear, Echo, and he looks rather beautiful. I had a betta named Philip and as he got older, he developed big years. One of my bettas, caspian, is around 3-4 years old and he's got big ears.
Now i'm just looking at the positive side to this because i don't enjoy being a negative nelly.