The Department of Justice has opened a case against eBay to see whether some of its employees used information from Craigslist to build a similar, eBay-branded site. It seems to trace back to a period when eBay was negotiating to buy a stake of Craigslist and requested information on how it expands to new cities.

From Bloomberg:

The incidents include a February 2005 request by Pierre Omidyar, EBay's chairman and founder, for information about Craigslist's approach to adding new cities and advance notice of plans to launch new cities, according to the subpoena.

In March 2007, without Craigslist's knowledge or consent, Brian Levey, EBay's deputy general counsel, forwarded Craigslist's confidential financial information from 2004 and 2007 to members of a team starting an EBay online classified ad site, according to the subpoena.

So who will come out the winner? Well, when was the last you used the eBay classifieds?

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow John Moe at @johnmoe