Feeds

eBay wanted to buy Craigslist, Whitman tells judge

Court showdown over board seat

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

eBay wanted to buy Craigslist whole hog when it scooped up a minority stake in the classifieds website in 2004, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman told a judge on Monday.

Whitman said the online tat house was looking to expand into new markets when it purchased a 28 per cent stake in the company from an early Craigslist executive. The deal made eBay the sole outside shareholder in Craigslist.

Whitman affirmed her former company's considerations of a takeover while on the witness stand in Delaware state court today according to Bloomberg, while making the case that Craigslist unfairly stripped eBay of a seat on its board.

"We were very interested in making an acquisition of Craigslist," Whitman is reported telling the judge. "We would have loved to buy the whole thing."

Whitman's testimony marked the beginning of a trial where the auction website alleges Craigslist's execs had conducted a series of secret deals to dilute eBay's shareholding from 28 per cent to 25 per cent, which was below the threshold to control a seat on the company board.

eBay's allegations caused Craigslist to file a counter lawsuit alleging that eBay used its board seat to take confidential information in order to launch its own classifieds website, Kijiji.

When eBay launched its Kijiji service in the US, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and CEO Jim Buckmaster told the online auctioneer that it had effectively become a competitor and that they were no longer comfortable having eBay as a shareholder. It said the dilution was part of the company's anti-takeover defenses.

Whitman — who stepped down as eBay's CEO last year to run for governor of California under a Republican ticket — told the court that her former company made it clear from the start of talks that it was interested in owning the entire company.

eBay is suing to get its shareholder rights back. A victory in court could allow eBay to have a larger say in how Craigslist conducts its business. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
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
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
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
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.