RealTime IT News

Feds End eBay Probe

eBay may be an online auction giant, but apparently the government thinks it's not enough of a giant to warrant serious monopoly concerns as Justice Department antitrust officials have closed an investigation of the San Jose, Calif.-based company.

No action was taken, eBay said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company had been providing information to the Justice Department since 2000.

The specifics of the investigation involved eBay's licensing program and a now-settled lawsuit eBay had filed against Bidder's Edge, an auction aggregator that eventually agreed to stop posting eBay content on its site. Auction aggregators at one point were seen as a threat by eBay.

eBay disclosed the end of the investigation in a section of its annual report filing that discussed risk factors.

Interestingly, the company also said that it believes "that government regulators have received a substantial number of consumer complaints about us, which, while small as a percentage of our total transactions, are large in aggregate numbers. As a result, we have from time to time been contacted by various foreign, federal, state and local regulatory agencies and been told that they have questions with respect to the adequacy of the steps we take to protect our users from fraud."