EBay is facing a lawsuit that could threaten its existence in France.

The French Council of Sales, which regulates the country’s auction market, wants the online auction site to be declared illegal. It alleges that eBay has failed to comply with France's consumer protection laws.

If the claim is upheld, it could lead to the arrest of the company’s executives.

One of the accusations is that eBay has failed to meet a requirement to take out insurance against fraud.

French Council of Sales chairman Christian Giacomotto told The Times that this amounted to unfair competition, “because other auctioneers had to make sure they are transparent and provide guarantees.”

EBay has called the claims “unjust” and said it does not have to comply with the regulations becasue it acts only as a facilitator between sellers and buyers and not as a public auction house.