Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over eBay's Automatic Bidding System

Back in January, we told you about the eBay seller who had filed a lawsuit alleging the auction website’s automatic bidding system was preventing sellers from getting the maximum amount a bidder would have been willing to pay. But earlier this week, a judge dismissed the proposed class-action suit.

The plaintiff had argued that eBay’s system is out of balance in favor of the bidder. The site knows how much a bidder is willing to pay, but rather than simply enter that bid, it enters lower bids that incrementally increase and which may never hit that maximum.

He beleives this is in conflict with the company’s statement that is is “not involved in the actual transaction between buyers and sellers” and that it violates the user agreement by effectively creating a partnership between eBay and the bidder.

But in his dismissal of the case, the judge writes, “When read in context, it is clear that eBay has not made a binding promise to avoid involvement in user transactions. Neither is eBay bound by the [user] agreement’s disclaimer against establishing agencies or partnerships… In short, the statements on which this entire lawsuit turns are not ‘worded consistently with its being intended to be enforceable.'”

eBay had called the plaintiff’s claims “the distorted result of his fundamental misunderstanding of both eBay’s user agreement and its automatic bidding system.”

EBAY Wins Bid to Have Class Action Dismissed [Courthousenews.com]