Tags: ebay | craigslist | suit

US in Criminal Probe of eBay Employees in Craigslist Flap

Tuesday, 13 Sep 2011 07:58 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. prosecutors have launched a criminal probe into whether eBay Inc. employees took confidential information from classified ad website Craigslist as eBay sought to build a rival service, a copy of a grand jury subpoena obtained by Reuters shows.

The two companies have been feuding for years in civil court over allegations that online giant eBay took a stake in Craigslist and then misappropriated confidential information while it secretly planned its own classifieds site.

The subpoena seeks information regarding several eBay personalities, including founder and Chairman Pierre Omidyar and Joshua Silverman, the former Skype chief executive who served as eBay's representative on Craigslist's board.

An eBay spokeswoman, Amanda Miller, said the company would cooperate in any inquiry related to the disputes with Craigslist.

"EBay believes that Craigslist's allegations against eBay are without merit," Miller said in an email Tuesday. "We will continue to vigorously defend ourselves, and we will aggressively pursue our claims against Craigslist."

EBay shares traded at $29 Tuesday in after-hours trading, down from their $29.40 close.

Last year, a Delaware's Chancery Court judge ruled that Craigslist properly removed an eBay representative from its board. The judge also ruled that Craigslist could not dilute eBay's 28.4 percent stake in the company.

Miller said allegations of misconduct were leveled by Craigslist as a defense in the Delaware case, and the court did not rule in Craigslist's favor on the defense.

Craigslist representatives did not respond to an email seeking comment.

RJ Hottovy, an equity analyst at Morningstar, said there could be implications for VP-level executives.

"While these are serious allegations, I don't think it's too big of a concern for investors," Hottovy said. "Classifieds are a smaller part of eBay's business."

The subpoena — issued by a federal grand jury in San Jose, Calif., last week on behalf of the U.S. Justice Department — seeks an array of information and documents.

Many of the requests in the subpoena match word for word language in another civil lawsuit filed by Craigslist against eBay. That litigation in a San Francisco court is ongoing.

EBay launched classified ad service Kijiji in the United States in 2007.

In 2005, "Omidyar requested information about Craigslist's approach to adding new cities as well as advance notice of plans to launch in new cities," the subpoena says, seeking documents about the allegation.

Omidyar could not immediately be reached Tuesday.

The subpoena also seeks documents about allegations that Silverman provided an eBay employee "with insider information about Craigslist management and provided recommendations to the eBay team responsible for the launch of Kijiji."

Silverman is currently president of the US Consumer Services business at American Express. He declined to comment through an American Express representative.

It was not clear Tuesday how many companies or individuals have received subpoenas, and no one has been charged with any criminal wrongdoing. Northern California U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag declined to comment.

The civil case in San Francisco Superior Court is Craigslist Inc. v. eBay Inc. et al., 08-475276.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Grand Jury to Weigh Case of NASCAR's Tony Stewart

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 15:02 PM

A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a  . . .

Parents of Colorado Theater Shooting Victim Sue Ammo Seller

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 14:59 PM

The parents of a woman killed in the Colorado theater shootings filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing four online retailers o . . .

Andrew Bacevich: A Catholic Expert on Limits of Military Might

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 14:49 PM

The approach that the administration has cobbled together , American air power plus surrogates on the ground supported b . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved