French auction house sues ebay

  1. Yes, they're always trying to pull that one, aren't they? :rolleyes:

    I don't know how on earth they manage to get away with it, when their site takes and organises bids and is, therefore, clearly acting as the auctioneer. :shrugs:
  2. I cannot understand what the French Auction Houses will acheive - whilst l do agree that eBay acts as an auctioneer they are not in a public domain. It would seem to me that eBay is possibly taking away part of their business and they really have the hump over that.

    I cannot see how they could possibly win any court case over what has been written.
  3. I doubt seriously that the auction houses will win, but I do think that it's a very gray area in French law:
    I guess it comes down to whether the court views eBay, Inc. as an auctioneer or not. WordNet defines the word as auctioneer as:
    1. an agent who conducts an auction

    Since eBay owns the computer servers and the software that facilitates the auction, and that auction could not take place *without* eBay's involvement, they are conducting the auction as far as I see me personally I feel that's the definition of auctioneer.
    I am sure that eBay's defense will be that they never own or take possession of the items, but I think that's complete doublespeak--live auction houses don't OWN the items either though they do take possession of them.

    But I'm neither a judge, nor French, so we'll see!

  4. Couldn't agree more, Cynthia :smile:

    I'm pretty sure that taking possession is not what makes someone an auctioneer. :nogood:

    If it was, where would that leave property auction houses? They don't (and can't) take possession of the properties they auction, but they are still auctioneers.

    If the difference is supposed to be that eBay doesn't inspect all of the items up for auction on its site, surely that doesn't stop them being an auctioneer? It just means that they are a rather poor quality auctioneer; in that they allow almost anything to be sold in their auctions without proper inspection.

    Perfectly respectable, bricks and mortar auction houses sometimes auction miscellaneous boxes of stuff that they have not inspected. :yes:

    That lack of inspection does not mean that they are not auctioneers. :nogood:

    Bottom line, eBay's software acts as an auctioneer and they call the auctions 'auctions' and to me, a person/company/software/robot who hosts and runs auctions is, indisputably, an auctioneer. :yes:
  5. IDK - I think the suit is silly & really the sellers are the ones auctioning the item not ebay. The seller decides what prices to set, what offers to accept, how they describe the item etc, if they want to end early, cancel, relist, deny & cancel bids etc & the seller delivers the item. Some aren't even in 'auction' format. I think it's a bunch of hooey.