EBay Sues Amazon, Alleging Sellers Were Illegally Poached

eBay sues Amazon over alleged poaching of sellers

EBay files lawsuit against Amazon over 'seller recruitment'

Amazon representatives allegedly urged the eBay sellers to contact them off the platform, with one writing to a merchant, "they don't exactly like us poking around".

EBay's lawsuit, which was filed yesterday in Santa Clara County Superior Court in California, claims that dozens of Amazon reps from the United States and around the world created eBay accounts specifically to recruit "high-value" sellers using the company's internal messaging system.

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eBay described Amazon's scheme as an "orchestrated, coordinated, worldwide campaign" to "illegally lure eBay sellers".

The lawsuit alleges the scheme began in 2015, when it claims Amazon representatives began setting up eBay accounts to access eBay's "member to member" (M2M) email system. Plus, the representatives reportedly admitted through messaging that they knew they were breaking the rules. eBay's user agreement prohibits people from using its private messaging system to trade outside information and to promote sales outside of the website. When it discovered that the complaint was true, it sent a cease and desist letter to Amazon ordering the company to stop. An Amazon spokeswoman told the WSJ the company was conducting a thorough investigation of the accusations.

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Ebay says it wants to stop Amazon misusing its messaging platform and to pay it an unspecified sum. These sellers are critical to both businesses, since the companies make billions of dollars in commissions on these sales.

Both Amazon and eBay allow third-party sellers to list and sell items on their sites. Last year, Amazon also offered discounts on items sold by third-party sellers and reimbursed independent merchants the amounts it cost them.

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