Feeds

eBay wanted to buy Craigslist, Whitman tells judge

Court showdown over board seat

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.