Tuesday, December 08, 2009

FT.com / Companies / Retail - Ebay hoped to acquire Craigslist

What tangled Webs…

Former Ebay chief executive Meg Whitman revealed on Monday that she had hoped to buy classified ads site Craigslist in 2004, when Ebay took a minority stake in the privately held company.

“We were very interested in making an acquisition of Craigslist,” said Ms Whitman. “We would have loved to buy the whole thing.”

Ms Whitman’s remarks came on the opening day of a long-delayed trial in Delaware. The case was brought by Ebay and accuses Craigslist of covertly selling shares to dilute Ebay’s stake in Craigslist, thereby stripping it of its board seat.


Ms Whitman also acknowledged that another motivation for the Ebay purchase was to keep Craigslist out of the hands of other large internet companies such as Google. “We didn’t want anyone else to have the opportunity to invest in this business,” she said under cross-examination. “It was an important investment for Ebay.”

FT.com / Companies / Retail - Ebay hoped to acquire Craigslist

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