Feeds

eBay wanted to buy Craigslist, Whitman tells judge

Court showdown over board seat

Application security programs and practises

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. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.