EBay sues Amazon over alleged poaching of sellers

Ebay Reports Quarterly Earnings

Amazon declined to comment on the case, which follows a letter from eBay demanding an end to the activity. Wednesday, accusing its e-commerce rival of illegally poaching its sellers.

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

Three accounts created by one person sent more than 120 messages to sellers without conducting any actual business on the platform, eBay alleges.

The lawsuit, filed in Santa Clara County in California, accuses Amazon of having "perpetrated a scheme to infiltrate and exploit eBay's internal member email system" over the past few years.

EBay (ebay) says Amazon employees used the auction site's messaging service to contact top sellers in hopes of convincing them to switch platforms.

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EBay alleged that these actions violated its user agreement and formed part of a strategy that was orchestrated from Amazon's headquarters.

Ebay says it wants to stop Amazon misusing its messaging platform and to pay it an unspecified sum.

Both companies rely on independent sellers to boost their revenue.

Both eBay and Amazon rely on independent sellers to boost their revenue, but it's become a big part of Amazon's growth: past year, for the first time, more than half the items sold on Amazon were from third-party sellers. "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)".

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