Feeds

eBay plays down 'shill' bidding allegations

Lawsuit launched

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.