Craigslist (SAI 25 #3) has countersued eBay, accusing the firm of using its position as an investor in the company to launch its own Craigslist competitor, Kijiji.
It’s the next step in an unfolding legal drama, and a response to a suit filed by eBay last month that accused Craigslist of wrongfully diluting eBay’s stake to prohibit the company from nominating members of Craigslist’s board.
The lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court, accuses eBay of unlawful competition, false advertising, trademark enfringement, dilution and breach of fiduciary duty.
Among Craigslist’s claims:
- eBay used the guise of its status as a “friendly investor” to spy on Craiglist and use confidential informaton to launch their own site Kijiji, known internally as its “Craigslist killer.”
- placed deceptive ads on Google such as blue underlined headlines like Craigslist.org and Craigslist.com and directing traffic to Kijiji or eBay web sites.
What does Craigslist want? From their blog announcing the suit:
We respectfully ask the Superior Court in San Francisco to enjoin this conduct and order eBay to (1) make full restitution to craigslist, (2) disgorge their related profits (3) restore to craigslist all shares of the company acquired by means of, or for the purpose of unfair competition, and (4) pay punitive damages for their malicious behaviour.
The complaint is below.