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Check Out Line: eBay-Craigslist’s nasty scrap

December 11, 2009

Check out how testy the battle between eBay and Craigslist is getting.

The online auctioneer and the online classified ads service are locked in an acrimonious courtroom battle in Delaware this week that would put the nastiest celebrity divorce cases to shame. The court has heard several days worth of  accusations of betrayal and examples of cultures clashing.

Here are the basics: eBay took a 28.4 percent share in Craigslist earlier this decade to get a foothold in online ads, but Craigslist sought to dilute eBay’s share to below 25 percent, thus costing it a board seat, after it learned eBay was launching its own service.

EBay is suing Craigslist in Delaware to have its original stake reinstated, while Craigslist has sued eBay in San Francisco, accusing it of not being forthright in its intentions to its betrothed.

Taking the stand on Thursday, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark compared himself to a cheated, betrayed spouse, mocking eBay executives for thinking he could be swayed by lavish dinners at top San Francisco restaurants. He also took specific aim at former eBay CEO and aspiring California governor Meg Whitman. “You thought you were dating, and they show up with someone else,” he told the court.

In turn eBay execs mocked Craigslist execs’ trouble mastering PowerPoint presentations.

Stay tuned for more courtroom drama and recriminations on Friday, when Newmark gets cross-examined and current eBay CEO Jim Buckmaster takes the stand.

Also in the basket:

 - Strong U.S. retails sales in November boost recovery hopes;
- P&G to buy Sara Lee’s air care business.

(PHOTO: Reuters)


Can’t blame Craigslist on this one. They thought one thing was concrete, then Ebay pulls a fast one.

Todd~SafetyMode Systems
Personal crime protection and safety products.

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