Prosecutors are reportedly investigating a number of eBay employees to determine if the online auction company broke any laws as it built a classifieds system to compete with Craigslist. The move is the latest chapter in an ongoing dispute between both companies, which centers around eBay's actions after it bought a stake in Craigslist.
Craigslist accuses eBay of establishing the minority stake and placing an employee on its board to gain access to confidential information that was said to be used to build eBay's rival classifieds service. The $32 million investment was made in 2004, several years before eBay brought Kijiji to the US.
A grand jury subpoena calls for information surrounding eBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar, along with Skype veteran Joshua Silverman, who sat on the Craigslist board on behalf of eBay.
"eBay believes that Craigslist's allegations against eBay are without merit," said eBay spokeswoman Amanda Miller, as quoted by Reuters. "We will continue to vigorously defend ourselves, and we will aggressively pursue our claims against Craigslist."