EBay and Bidder's Edge reach settlement in Web case

After almost 15 months of legal wrangling, online auction site eBay Inc. and now-defunct auction portal Bidder's Edge Inc. last week settled a dispute over the latter company's use of data taken from eBay's Web site.

San Jose-based eBay sued Bidder's Edge in December 1999, charging that the Burlington, Mass., auction portal trespassed on eBay's intellectual property -- namely, its online content -- without authorization.

Bidder's Edge was one of several companies that allegedly "crawled" on eBay's Web site, collecting data on items for sale there and then including links to those items on their own sites.

James Carney, president and CEO of Bidder's Edge, confirmed today that a settlement was reached last week but declined to release details of the agreement. Both sides dropped lawsuits against the other as part of the settlement, he said.

EBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove said that under the settlement, Bidder's Edge will pay EBay an undisclosed amount of money and will drop its court appeal related to an injunction issued in the case last spring. Bidder's Edge will also drop all antitrust claims against eBay and will stop using automated software to peruse the company's Web site, Pursglove said.

Bidder's Edge recently closed its Web site and has changed the direction of its business, Carney said. Customers looking for the site are now redirected to the Web site of BidXS.com Inc., a Los Angeles-based company that offers similar auction services.

Last May, a federal judge ruled in favor of eBay and issued an injunction that barred Bidder's Edge from using an automated Web crawler system to search eBay's site.

This story, "EBay and Bidder's Edge reach settlement in Web case" was originally published by Computerworld.

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