Criminal probe latest twist in Craigslist-eBay spat
SAN FRANCISCO — Online auction house eBay on Wednesday promised to cooperate fully with any criminal investigation into whether it built a classified service with secrets swiped from Craigslist.
Reports that a federal grand jury is looking into the matter are the latest twist in ongoing legal wrangling between eBay and the globally popular service for free, localized classified advertising.
“We will cooperate in any inquiry related to the disputes between eBay and Craigslist,” eBay spokeswoman Amanda Miller said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.
“EBay believes that Craigslist’s allegations against eBay are without merit,” she said. “We will continue to vigorously defend ourselves, and we will aggressively pursue our claims against Craigslist.”
EBay purchased a stake in Craigslist in August 2004 but relations between the companies deteriorated after eBay launched its own online classifieds site, Kijiji.com, in June 2007 to compete with Craigslist.org.
Kijiji was later renamed ebayclassifieds.com in the United States.
Craigslist and eBay are currently pursuing claims against one another in California courts, according to Miller.