Craigslist vs. eBay: Internet giants take each other on in Delaware courtroom

The World Wide Web may be a recent invention, but the reason two pioneering Internet sites are facing off in a legal battle is as old as commerce itself -- a business deal gone sour. How much power eBay has on Craiglist's board of directors is the issue being hammered out in a Delaware courtroom in a trial that began Monday.

The conflict centers on whether executives at privately held Craigslist improperly reduced eBay's (EBAY) significant interest in their company through a series of secret deals. The case dates back to 2004 when eBay bought a stake in Craigslist. Ebay has since sought to gain a seat on the board for its 28.4% share, only to learn it has been diluted to just 25%, a level that doesn't entitle eBay to representation.