eBay agrees to settle couple harassment case for $3m

Alleged intimidation tactics involve sending live insects, a fetal pig, and a funeral wreath to Steiners' residence
The image shows eBay logo. — Pixabay
The image shows eBay logo. — Pixabay

eBay has agreed to pay a $3 million fine to settle allegations of harassing bloggers who expressed criticism against the company.

The couple harassed stated in the lawsuit that eBay executives live insects to Ina and David Steiner, according to court papers. The couple had been left "emotionally, psychologically, and physically" terrorised, the filings added.

According to BBC reports, the couple allegedly became the focus of attention due to their creation of a newsletter that displeased eBay employees.

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The US Attorney's Office in the District of Massachusetts stated that Jim Baugh, eBay's former senior director of safety and security, singled out the couple for their production of EcommerceBytes, a newsletter that faced disapproval from the company's executives.

The alleged intimidation tactics involved sending live insects, a fetal pig, and a funeral wreath to the Steiners' residence in Natick, Massachusetts.

Baugh and his colleagues, terminated by eBay soon after the event, allegedly placed a GPS tracking device on the couple's vehicle and posted on Craigslist to solicit sexual encounters at their residence, according to the legal documents.

Baugh's legal representatives claim that he experienced pressure from former eBay CEO Devin Wenig to control the Steiners due to their reporting on the company. Wenig, who resigned in 2019, has not been implicated in the case and denies awareness of the harassment campaign.