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EBay, Bidder's Edge Settle Suits on Web Access

March 02, 2001|From Bloomberg News

SAN JOSE — EBay Inc., the world's largest Internet auctioneer, and Bidder's Edge Inc. have agreed to settle lawsuits about accessing and copying information from Web sites.

EBay said the settlement prohibits Bidder's Edge from combing its site for material and that Burlington, Mass.-based Bidder's Edge agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of money, said Jay Monahan, EBay's intellectual property attorney. EBay's lawsuit against the company, along with a countersuit filed by Bidder's Edge, will be dismissed, he said.

EBay sued in December 1999 to stop Bidder's Edge from collecting information from its site and posting the data, along with content from other Web auctions sites, on the Internet. EBay alleged Bidder's Edge was trespassing, infringing on copyright and engaging in unfair business practices.

"We will continue to vigorously protect our site and our users against unwanted and harmful intrusions," Monahan said. "We believe the Bidder's Edge precedent clearly establishes our right to do that."

Bidder's Edge will also drop an appeal of a preliminary injunction preventing it from obtaining the auction data and posting it without EBay's permission, Monahan said. Bidder's Edge wasn't immediately available for comment.

Monahan said a similar case in New York resulted in a preliminary injunction. In that lawsuit, Register.com Inc. sued Verio Inc., a subsidiary of NTT Communications, alleging Verio was culling information from its database and using the information for marketing to Register.com customers.

Verio has appealed the Dec. 8 injunction.

Shares of EBay, the world's biggest Internet auctioneer, fell 83 cents to $37.50 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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