US: eBay sues Amazon

eBay.com filed a lawsuit againts Amazon on Wednesday, October 17, in which it contends Amazon illegally stole sellers from its own marketplace.

The Wall Street Journal, citing the lawsuit which was filed in Santa Clara County in California, reported eBay alleges Amazon has over the past several years “perpetrated a scheme to infiltrate and exploit eBay’s internal member email system.” eBay contends the scheme was employed by a slew of sales reps at Amazon both in the US and overseas in an effort to bring eBay sellers over to Amazon.  “For years, and unbeknownst to eBay, Amazon has been engaged in a systematic, coordinated effort to infiltrate and exploit eBay’s proprietary M2M system on eBay’s platform to lure top eBay sellers to Amazon,” eBay contends in the lawsuit, according to the Wall Street Journal. “The scheme is startling in breadth — involving large numbers of Amazon representatives (“Amazon reps”), targeting many hundreds of eBay sellers, and spanning several countries overseas and many states in the United States (including California)],” reads the text. In the lawsuit, eBay points to evidence that coordination for the scam came from within the headquarters of the company, pointing to messages sent to sellers and similar patterns of behavior following that. In some cases the behaviors were identical, eBay claims. The lawsuit noted that a lot of the accounts used to send the messages were from devices connected to Amazon IPs.

The Wall Street Journal noted that it previously reported that Amazon was mailed out a cease and desist letter from eBay about the same allegations.  Amazon pointed to an earlier statement it made to the Wall Street Journal when the paper contacted it about the lawsuit. In that previous statement, the eCommerce giant stated it was conducting an inquiry into the allegations.  eBay wants Amazon to permanently stop misusing its messaging system to poach sellers and to collect for unspecified damages, noted the Wall Street Journal.

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