| Monday May 30th 2016

Oh no, oh no, oh no. eBay is trying to acquire Craigslist

Craigslist adSan Francisco (CA) – Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster has posted another blog article which criticizes eBay for its lawsuit. In the post titled “Kettles and Pots“, Buckmaster outlines what eBay is suing for, namely to stop Craigslist’s poison pill and right of first refusal contract clauses for major shareholders. He also points out that protections Craigslist has put in place have actually been used by eBay in the past.

“It’s worth pointing out that Ebay is suing us for implementing protections for craigslist that it clearly believes are perfectly appropriate for protecting itself,” says Buckmaster.

Buckmaster goes on to talk about his company’s implementation of the “poison pill” and helpfully links to an SEC filing of eBay using the same tactic to protect itself back in 2004.

Craigslist is a privately held company, but that didn’t stop eBay from acquiring shares from a former Craigslist employee who sold his stake for an undisclosed sum (and he/she probably laughed all the way to the bank). eBay is undoubtedly trying to obtain a larger share of the company, but has apparently been stopped by Craigslist’s issuance of more shares – something which effectively dilutes eBay’s stake.

One of the Craigslist protections that eBay is suing to stop is its “right of first refusal” which means Craigslist gets the first look and buy/sell opportunity for any shareholder transaction. Buckmaster points out that eBay has “from time to time bound shareholders of Ebay and its various subsidiaries by right of first refusal agreements.”

So it looks like Craigslist is happy to make this a very public battle and it could definitely work to its favor as its adored by millions of netizens for its low/no fee ads. We definitely expect more public statements from Craigslist.

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