eBay vs. Craigslist, An Equity Battle

Posted Apr 30, 2008

“Since negotiating our investment with Craigslist’s board in 2004, we have acted openly and in good faith as a minority shareholder, so we were surprised by these recent unilateral actions,” stated Mike Jacobson, eBay’s General Counsel. “We are asking the Delaware court to rescind these recent actions in order to protect eBay’s stockholders and preserve our investment.”

One of the worst things that can happen to a company is if the owners do not get along.  eBay owns a portion of Craigslist.  eBay bought 28% of Craigslist in 2004 for $13.5 million.

eBay started a Craigslist competitor called Kijiji, a free classifieds web site.  Craigslist mentioned that this action nullifies eBay’s rights as a shareholder.  In response, Craigslist found a way to dilute eBay’s share in the basic classifieds site.  In the Craigslist blog, eBay claims that eBay is using their power to dominate the classifieds market.  eBay launched Kijiji in 2005.

eBay has an interest to acquire the rest of Craigslist if they offer according to former eBay CEO, Meg Whitman.  A former Craigslist executive sold his or her shares in the company to eBay directly.

Information Source:
[1] Craig Newmark’s blog: Tainted Love
[2] Associated Press: EBay makes public its complaint against Craigslist by Amanda Fehd