Shareholder Icahn: "Conflict of interest in eBay board" | RetailDetail

Shareholder Icahn: "Conflict of interest in eBay board"

Shareholder Icahn: "Conflict of interest in eBay board"

Investor Carl Icahn has demanded two members of the board of eBay to resign, as he questions their loyalty towards the company and believes there is a conflict of interest within the board.

Interests in competing businesses

Icahn, who controls 2.15 % of eBay’s shares, wrote a letter to the other shareholders in which he stated that two members of the board of directors, Marc Andreessen and Scott Cook, had interests in eBay competitors, posing that as a reason for their resignation.

 

Andreessen alledgedly has invested in (and advises for) Boku, Coinbase, Dwolla, Jurnio and Fab, five companies Icahn believes to be direct eBay competitors while four of them also compete with PayPal, a part of the eBay group.

 

"Afraid of a standalone Paypal"

He also questioned the selling of Skype to a group of investors, to which Andreessen belongs, for 70 % less than what eBay paid for it – especially as Skype was subsequently sold to Microsoft for a 4 billion dollars (2.9 billion euro) profit only 1.5 years later.

 

Cook’s conflicting interests are supposed to be because of his ties to Intuit, which has GoPayment as a director competitor to Paypal: according to Icahn, this is the exact reason Cook is stopping PayPal’s spinoff out of fears it would impact Intuit. “Is Mr Cook wary of how a standalone PayPal could impact the company he founded? Is he worried that it would diminish the value of his $1 billion in Intuit stock”, Icahn wondered.

 

PayPall will not be split off

EBay is not amused by Icahn’s statements, especially the fact that he attacks two exquisite members of the board with his letter. They retort that Andreessen had no part in the decision to sell Skype. Both he and Cook were not available for comments.

 

Icahn wants PayPal to be split off from eBay, something the higher echelons of eBay management had also considered for a while, before the decision was made to keep PayPal as an important part of eBay. The company believes synergy would be lost if both companies were split up.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Microsoft builds competitor for Amazon Go

14/06/2018

Microsoft is working on its own technology that should render checkouts in stores obsolete. The American company says it wants to be an ally for the retail sector, mostly in its struggle against Amazon Go.

Amazon bans customers who return too much

24/05/2018

Amazon is putting a stop to customers that return too many items or that “misbehave” according to the retailer: whoever crosses the line, will be banned. Dozens of customers have taken to social media to complain about this unilateral account removal.

LVMH invests millions in fashion search engine Lyst

24/05/2018

French luxury group LVMH, led by Bernard Arnault, will invest millions of dollars in Lyst once again. The luxury fashion search engine wants to expand its global expansion this way.

Amazon now delivers packages to car trunks

25/04/2018

From now on, Amazon delivers orders to the trunk of your car. The retail and technology giant has given its Prime subscribers access to get packaged delivered to the trunk of their car, without any additional costs. The service is currently limited to the United States.

Dutch Beate Uhse division not bankrupt after all

05/04/2018

German Beate Uhse’s Dutch subsidiary has not gone bankrupt after all and will continue its activities in both Belgium and the Netherlands. The company revealed the information itself after bankruptcy rumours surfaced.

Amazon often cheaper than Dutch competitors

03/04/2018

Products that are available on both Dutch web shops and Amazon.de, are cheaper at Amazon in about half the cases. Not only do Dutch stores compete with Amazon.de, which ships to the Netherlands, but there are also rumours that Amazon.nl and Amazon.be will soon become more active.