Feeds

Feds probe eBay over Craigslist plunder allegations

Tit-for-tat tat spat goes criminal

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
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
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
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
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
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
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.
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.
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.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.