by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jul 11th 2008 3:01pm
Remember all those lawsuits against Google by people who didn't like how Google listed them (i.e., they felt that Google had them too far down the rankings)? Well, it appears that some similar lawsuits are being filed against eBay. One jewelry sales company, Windsor Auctions, felt that it should have been making more money via eBay and sued the company after realizing that a competitor was using tools eBay provided it to get better listings. Windsor mostly relied on a depression-era law that tried to stop big companies from engaging in predatory sales practices (using its marketing muscle to force suppliers to give it better deals). As Eric Goldman points out in the link above, the law makes almost no sense today (and it's questionable if it ever did). It certainly doesn't seem to apply to this case -- and the court has agreed, tossing out those charges, though leaving some others dealing with a implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. It's difficult to see how eBay can be at fault here for offering up tools that will help sellers, but as we've seen with all those Google cases, companies always look for someone to blame when someone beats them in the market -- and the company with the big pockets is always an easy target.
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