Divorce is messy, as eBay and Craigslist are discovering.
EBay is suing Craigslist, the top US classified ad website, for diluting its shareholding and invoking a "poison pill" to stop eBay from selling its shares to anyone other than Craigslist. eBay hopes to have Craigslist's actions set aside and have its seat on the board reinstated.
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Craigslist took the steps after eBay launched a competitive website called Kijiji.
Craigslist founder Craig Newmark told a Delaware court he had believed former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and other eBay executives when she said in a 2004 meeting that eBay shared Craigslist's core values.
He changed his mind after eBay launched Kijiji, Reuters reported. "Basically this (was) the equivalent of a 'Dear John' letter. You thought you were dating and they show up with someone else," he said.
eBay paid $32m for a 28% share and a seat on Craigslist's board. Newmark alleged that eBay used its seat to gain inside knowledge that helped it launch Kjiji.
The US Courtroom View Network is reporting the trial.