Feb 27 Activist investor Carl Icahn challenged
eBay Inc executives to a public debate after accusing
two company directors of conflicts of interest earlier this
Icahn, who disclosed a 2.15 percent stake in the e-commerce
giant last week, had accused two long-time eBay board members,
Marc Andreessen and Scott Cook, of having business interests
that directly competed with eBay.
In his third letter to eBay shareholders this week, Icahn
said on Thursday he had agreed to a public debate on CNBC
business channel, but eBay had not responded.
"EBay has challenged us to focus on honest, accurate debate.
We do not believe eBay is serious about this," Icahn wrote in
EBay could not be immediately reached for comment on the
However, eBay founder and Chairman Pierre Omidyar defended
Andreessen and Cook, saying Icahn had chosen to attack the
integrity of two qualified board members instead of having an
Icahn, who called last month for eBay to sell off its
fast-growing PayPal payments business, had also promised to lay
out in the coming weeks a detailed case for spinning off PayPal.
Omidyar, in a statement on Thursday, rejected Icahn's call
to separate PayPal, reiterating the company's position that the
businesses were better off together.
Omidyar, who is the largest shareholder in eBay with a stake
of 8.37 percent, said the board had evaluated the option of
spinning off PayPal, but decided against it.
EBay shares were up 1.5 percent at $58.21 on the Nasdaq on