An attorney for eBay, the world’s largest online auction site, confirmed Feb. 4 that the U.S. Department of Justice launched an antitrust investigation against the company in December.

The investigation, which is still is in its early stages and has not yet reached the submission of CIDs (Civil Investigative Demands), is focused on eBay’s attempts to stop smaller Web companies from listing items being auctioned by eBay’s customers on their own sites. As part of the probe, DOJ has reportedly interviewed eBay’s competitors, including representatives of AuctionWatch.com and Bidder’s Edge, whom eBay has sued for infringement and trespass in the reuse of eBay’s content.

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