Round 1 of eBay v Craigslist has ended

Round 1 awaits the judge’s decision. Round 2 of the eBay v Craigslist courtroom fight will begin in 2010.

After more than a week of courtroom scrapping, the judge who’s presiding over the Delaware lawsuit between eBay and Craigslist has urged the parties to settle out of court. He promised only that he would require time to reach a decision and that neither party would regard it as a clear victory. Chancellor William Chandler II warned: “I have an uncanny ability to make everyone unhappy.”

Case: eBay Domestic Holdings Inc v Newmark, et al, Delaware Chancery Court, No. 3705-CC  (Why Delaware? Craigslist is incorporated there.) My comment on week 1 of trial.

This lawsuit even has political implications: Meg Whitman, who was eBay CEO during the Craigslist stock acquisition, is campaigning as a Republican for the office of Governor of California. Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist) is a major contributor to Democrat candidates and their causes. Craigslist testimony painted Whitman as a less than honest businesswoman, which may cost her votes in the gubernatorial election.

This public airing of dirty laundry could have been avoided if Craigslist had placed controls on the trading of its shares, as defined in
Five Lessons from the eBay-Craigslist Fight: http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/dec2009/sb20091222_305115.htm

Craigslist has filed a separate lawsuit against eBay in California. It’s expected to go to trial in early 2010.


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