EBay Sellers’ Class Action Hangs by Thread

     SAN JOSE (CN) – A federal judge dismissed, with leave to amend, a class action claiming that eBay should not have charged again every month it renewed listings for sellers’ products.
     EBay introduced its Good ‘Til Canceled feature in September 2008, which automatically renewed an unsold product listing unless the seller canceled the post or sold the item. Every month that eBay renewed the listing, it charged a 35-cent “insertion” fee, and recharged for any of the extras that the seller chose when posting the item.
     Lead plaintiff Richard Noll sued eBay in September 2011, claiming it did not make the recurring fees known when sellers signed up, but advertised the Good ‘Til Canceled feature as having “no extra cost.”
     U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in April 2012 tossed Noll’s claims for fraud, unfair competition, false advertising and consumer legal remedies.
     Davila then did not dismiss Noll’s claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and declaratory judgment.
     Davila said it was unclear whether eBay incorporated its 2008 listing update into sellers’ contracts.
     Noll filed an amended complaint in June 2012 and a consolidated class complaint in October.
     EBay moved to dismiss the complaint, which Judge Davila granted last week.
     “Plaintiffs do not clearly delineate exactly what class periods they are alleging, which plaintiff purports to represent the class for each class period, which eBay entity is at issue in each period, and what fees were improperly charged during each period,” Davila wrote.
     “The lack of clarity on these basic points alone is sufficient ground on which to grant defendants’ motion to dismiss.”
     Davila agreed with eBay that Noll’s common law fraud claim is based on the same alleged omissions as the claim for breach of contract, and thus is barred. Davila granted Noll leave to amend four claims: unfair competition, false advertising, consumer legal remedies and common law fraud

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