The two companies have been feuding for years in civil court over allegations that online giant eBay took a stake in Craigslist and then misappropriated confidential information while it secretly planned its own classifieds site.
The subpoena seeks information regarding several eBay personalities, including founder and Chairman Pierre Omidyar and Joshua Silverman, the former Skype chief executive who served as eBay’s representative on Craigslist’s board.
Last year, a Delaware Chancery Court judge ruled that Craigslist properly removed an eBay representative from its board. The judge also ruled that Craigslist could not dilute eBay’s 28.4 percent stake in the company.
Allegations of misconduct were leveled by Craigslist as a defense in the Delaware case, and the court did not rule in Craigslist’s favor on the defense.
The subpoena — issued by a federal grand jury in San Jose, Calif., last week on behalf of the U.S. Justice Department — seeks an array of information and documents.
Many of the requests in the subpoena match word for word language in another civil lawsuit filed by Craigslist against eBay. That litigation in a San Francisco court is ongoing.
In 2005, “Omidyar requested information about Craigslist’s approach to adding new cities as well as advance notice of plans to launch in new cities,” the subpoena says, seeking documents about the allegation.
The subpoena also seeks documents about allegations that Silverman provided an eBay employee “with insider information about Craigslist management and provided recommendations to the eBay team responsible for the launch of Kijiji.”
Silverman is currently president of the US Consumer Services business at American Express. He declined to comment through an American Express representative.
Methinks that where there is smoke, there is usually a fire.
Thanks to Dan Levine, Alistair Barr, Alexandria Sage and Reuters, and
thanks for “listening”
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