With the EBay-Craigslist lawsuit finally set to head to trial, the trial has suddenly been taken off the docket, and Classified Intelligence, which reported the development in a clients-only report, thinks it could signal that a settlement is coming in the case. The trial had been scheduled to start on Monday — and a new date has not been set.
Ebay sued Craigslist in April 2008, saying that Craigslist had diluted its 28.4 percent stake in the site, which it acquired in 2004. Craigslist countersued a month later, saying that eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) had used its stake to steal trade secrets, which it used to launch its own classified site, Kijiji. This is a marriage that obviously has not worked out — so it will be worth watching whether Craigslist can somehow acquire eBay’s stake or get a friendly third-party to do so.
We’ve reached out to both eBay and Craigslist and will update if we hear back. Update 1: An eBay spokeswoman tells us that the trial has in fact been rescheduled to begin Dec. 7. No comment on the possibility of a settlement.
Update 2: Small win for Craigslist as part of the reschedule: The judge dismissed two of eBay’s seven claims, reports DJN. The dismissed claims alleged that Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and CEO Jim Buckmaster “breached their fiduciary duty by approving self-dealing indemnification agreements, which also constituted a waste of corporate assets”.