eBayers banned for wrecking Live 8 ticket auctions

Remind us, what's Live 8 about?

eBay's PR nightmare continues to rumble on as it emerged the auction site has banned bidders who deliberately sabotaged auctions for Live 8 tickets.

The auction giant had decided to ban the sale of the charity gig tickets following pressure from Bob Geldof. But not before Saint Bob unleashed a verbal onslaught effectively calling eBay a "virtual ticket tout".

As part of Geldof's rant, he called on people to place "impossible bids" to prevent sales.

But those who've followed Geldof's rallying cry are themselves being targeted by eBay after wrecking auctions by bidding as much as £10m for tickets.

In a statement eBay said: "We do not condone the behaviour of the small number of individuals who have expressed their views by maliciously bidding on ticket auctions and threatening the stability and security of the eBay marketplace.

"New eBay members placing multiple malicious bids from accounts clearly set up with the sole purpose to hoax bid are being suspended immediately. We have no plans to make exceptions for hoax bidders on Live 8 ticket listings."

Elsewhere, Lib Dem MP Don Foster MP has jumped on the Live 8 bandwagon and called on eBay to introduce a charity auction site.

"eBay's climb down on Live 8 mustn't obscure the way in which bogus charitable auctioneers have profited in the past and will do so again unless eBay acts now," he said.

"The public's fury at the sick profiteering over Live 8 shows that eBay can no longer afford to ignore its social responsibility in this area.

"eBay already has a charitable auction site in the United States. Four months ago I was told by eBay in this country that it hoped to introduce a similar site 'soon'. They should wait no longer."

Of course, eBay UK already runs a charity auction section used by groups including Oxfam and lifeboat charity RNLI.

An eBay spokeswoman told us: "A review of the charities section of the site is underway at the moment aimed at bringing it more in line with eBay's Giving Works in the US but we're not sure as yet when this will be launched in the UK." ®

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