Feeds

Feds probe eBay over Craigslist plunder allegations

Tit-for-tat tat spat goes criminal

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

US prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into allegations eBay employees stole confidential information from Craigslist, according to a grand jury subpoena.

The two internet companies have been slugging it out in the civil courts for years, with Craigslist insisting eBay used its stake in the classified ad website to figure out how to launch its own rival service in the US, which it did in 2007.

The subpoena, issued in California, is looking for a load of information and documents, including some regarding eBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar, according to Reuters after it obtained a copy of the writ - which was issued on behalf of the US Justice Department.

An eBay UK spokesperson told The Reg today that the company will cooperate in "any inquiry related to disputes between eBay and Craigslist. eBay believes that Craigslist’s allegations against eBay are without merit".

eBay launched its own classified ad site Kijiji.com, later renamed eBayClassifieds.com, in 2007. Craigslist immediately moved to have eBay's representative taken off its board and dilute the online auction house's 28.4 per cent stake in the firm to 24.9 per cent. A lawsuit brought by eBay in Delaware in response came down to a one-all draw, with Craigslist losing the dilution of the stake but winning on sending the board representative packing.

eBay wanted that to be the end of it, but Craigslist has its own suit in a Californian court alleging breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, among other issues - all hanging on the allegations that eBay misappropriated confidential information from Craigslist to use in launching its own classifieds site. That case is still open.

At the time of publication, Craigslist had not responded to a request for comment. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
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
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

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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.