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Maureen writes \"Probe of EBay Hinges On Rights to Data
Territorial Disputes On Web
Saturday, February 5, 2000
One of the fundamental issues of the Internet--the property rights of those who compile vast data storehouses on the global network--is now under scrutiny by lawmakers, regulators and the courts. \"
...the company\'s \"senior intellectual property counsel,\" Jay Monahan, acknowledged yesterday that the company has had \"some discussions with staff at the Justice Department regarding eBay and the online trading business generally.\" The company suggested that Justice was doing the bidding of Bidder\'s Edge and other competitors.While Congress considers two proposals that would treat such information in starkly different ways, the Justice Department has been investigating whether eBay, the largest online auction site, should be permitted to shield its auctions from competitors. Companies such as Bidder\'s Edge and AuctionWatch argue that they should have the right to pull together listings from hundreds of sites to allow Web surfers to do more powerful comparison shopping.