Feeds

Testimony spills messy details in eBay-Craigslist squabble

Treachery and double-dealing all around

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The founder of Craigslist has admitted that eBay was free to compete with his website under terms of a contract both parties signed, numerous news outlets reported Friday.

Craig Newmark also said the online auction house was permitted to access Craigslist confidential data "with some limitations."

The admissions, made during sworn testimony in a Delaware court, come as Craigslist and eBay trade accusations of treachery and double-dealing in a 2004 transaction in which eBay acquired a 28-percent stake in the classifieds website. Craigslist has claimed eBay misused proprietary information it obtained from the purchase to develop Kijiji, a competing online classifieds site.

"If it ain't in the document, you don't get to rely on it, right?" an attorney for eBay asked Newmark during cross examination, according to this account from the Associated Press.

"That's what these documents say," Newmark replied.

The testimony came in a suit eBay filed that alleges Newmark and Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster - who together hold a majority stake in the classifieds site - set out to unfairly dilute eBay's holdings. The dilution caused eBay to lose its right to elect a Craigslist board member, the auction house said.

The disputes have aired the messy details of a family squabble that members surely would have preferred remained private. After eBay disclosed its plans to launch Kijiji, Newmark said, "My concern was that we were now beginning to see evidence that Meg was not trustworthy," a reference to then eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who is now running for California governor.

Whitman testified earlier that eBay had hoped to form a bond with Newmark and Buckmaster and eventually convince them to sell the Craigslist outright. Within a year, the two sides had a falling out, according to emails presented, with eBay executives mocking the Craigslist bosses for "amateurish board meetings" and an inability to use PowerPoint.

Other emails showed that eBay executives thought the launch of Kijiji would violate provisions of their shareholder agreements. Executives expected to lose their seat on the Craigslist board as a result.

The dispute also dropped this one tidbit: Google made overtures to acquire the 28-percent stake.

Additional coverage from Dow Jones and Reuters are here and here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.