Craiglist is changing the tone and trying to change the venue for a legal battle with minority shareholder eBay (NSDQ: EBAY). The online-classifieds company filed suit in California Superior Court in San Francisco today, accusing eBay of using its minority stake to steal corporate trade secrets. EBay started the legal tiff with a suit filed in Delaware Chancery Court claiming that the Craigslist board intentionally diluted its stake after the online auction company offered to buy out Craigslist.
Reuters: "Craigslist's complaint alleges a plan by eBay to use its position as a minority shareholder in Craigslist and its position on the Craigslist board to gather competitive information that led to the launch of eBay's rival classifieds business. The suit claims eBay code-named Kijiji its 'Craigslist killer' in internal strategy discussions."
NYT: "Craigslist also charges eBay with running misleading ads on search engines that mentioned Craigslist but directed traffic to eBay properties. The company asks the court to return eBay's shares in Craigslist, restore any profits from the false advertising, and to award it punitive damages for eBay's allegedly anticompetitive behavior."
More to come.
By Staci D. Kramer