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Stacey Vanek-Smith: Imagine Pepsi with a seat on Coke’s board of directors. Well, that’s essentially what e-Bay is fighting for in a case that goes before a Delaware court today. e-Bay wants a seat on the board of Craigslist. Bob Moon has more.
Bob Moon: When e-Bay bought just over 25 percent of Craigslist back in 2004, it got a seat on the board and made no secret that it wanted to learn how to get into the online classified market. Soon after, it launched a rival classified site called Kijiji. And then came the lawsuits.
e-Bay claims Craigslist execs quietly sold new shares, diluting e-Bay’s stake just enough to throw it off the board. Craigslist accuses e-Bay of stealing confidential information.
The whole case has securities lawyer Jacob Frenkel scratching his head:
Jacob Frenkel: It borders on the incredible for a competitor to have a seat on that board.
Craigslist leads the U.S. market, but e-Bay’s classifieds rule in numerous foreign countries.
Peter Zollman writes the Classified Intelligence Report. He says e-Bay sees the growth it needs in classifieds:
Peter Zollman: Because it is such an important business, and such a lucrative business in many cases, that looks like it’s going to be one of the keys for e-Bay for the next few years.
But attorney Jacob Frenkel wonders if there’s something else at stake:
Frenkel: This case very much smacks of bruised egos battling it out.
We’ll hear from execs on both sides starting today.
I’m Bob Moon for Marketplace.
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