Feeds

eBay plays down 'shill' bidding allegations

Lawsuit launched

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Giant auction site eBay is being sued for allegedly using "shill" bidding against its own customers to force up prices and increase the fees it's able to charge.

The class action lawsuit filed in the California Superior Court in Santa Clara was brought on behalf of a Pennsylvania man who maintains he fell foul of eBay's "shill" bidding practice on at least two occasions.

In one case Glenn Block claims his bid for a Xerox Copy Cartridge was increased from $111 to $112.5 despite the absence of any real competing bid. In another auction Block claims eBay's intervention raised his bid from $75 to $75.55.

Although the sums involved are only small, multiplied by eBay's huge customer base they could add up to millions of dollars, said lawyers Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP in a statement.

The allegations centre on eBay's used of computer-generated responses that encourage the high bidder for an item to raise the ceiling on his bidding to ensure that he is not overtaken by another buyer.

"Despite having been notified that he was the highest bidder, eBay raised the buyer's bid without any further competing bids. In these cases eBay effectively acted as an invisible shill bidder so as to pump the auction price higher," said lawyers acting on behalf of Block.

eBay spokesman Hani Durzy told Reuters: "Based on what we know about what's being alleged, it appears the plaintiff completely misunderstands the functionality of the eBay bidding system." ®

Related stories

Euro MPs face scam crackdown
Support for proposed eBay strike fades
eBay backtracks as it cuts some fees
Touts flood eBay with black market tickets
'Integrity of eBay markeplace' at risk - sellers' group

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.