Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Study Group Time: Here Are the Legal Briefs for eBay-craigslist Trial Tomorrow!

The trial begins bright and early tomorrow morning in Delaware between online auction giant eBay and Web classified kingpin craigslist.

Since BoomTown is in a “Paper Chase” mood, I expect everyone to bone up on the legal issues of the Silicon Valley faceoff by reading the pretrial briefs below.

If not, as John Houseman playing Professor Charles Kingfield, said so memorably: “Here is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer.”

To review, here are the particulars of the case:

Fact: eBay holds a minority ownership position in craigslist (which was its first mistake, really).

Currently, the San Jose, Calif.-based eBay (EBAY) owns less than 25 percent, although it had acquired about 28 percent in a deal in 2004.

That dilution is what’s at stake here, with eBay filing a lawsuit last year against the privately held craigslist for making that happen, via a “coercive plan,” by issuing more stock and thereby causing eBay to lose its board seat.

Of course, craiglist has put forth its own lawsuit in San Francisco, alleging that eBay stole confidential information to create a competing classified service called Kijiji, and other misdeeds.

First up tomorrow will be former eBay CEO Meg Whitman–who is running for the Republican nomination for California governor and who takes the stand to talk about the original deal with craiglist.

She will be followed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and others.

So, here are the prebriefs from both companies to consider:

Pretrial brief for craigslist:

craigslist pre-brief

Pretrial brief for eBay:


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