Amazon is accused of a “systematic and coordinated” scheme to lure eBay’s sellers since 2015. In the lawsuit, eBay claims that Amazon representatives targeted their sellers in the US and around the world.
Online retailer eBay filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against its competitor Amazon, accusing the Seattle-based giant of using eBay’s own messaging system to steal sellers.
eBay described Amazon’s scheme as an “orchestrated, coordinated, worldwide campaign” to “illegally lure eBay sellers.”
While both eBay and Amazon’s revenue is boosted by independent sellers, the group has become a greater part of Amazon’s recent growth. In 2017, more than half the items sold on Amazon came from third-party sellers.
In eBay’s lawsuit, Amazon representatives are accused of creating eBay accounts and then messaging sellers to persuade them to take their goods to Amazon.com instead. eBay argues that the move violated its user agreement.
The plaintiff claimed that Amazon’s “abuse” was systematic and had the sole purpose of harming Ebay.
Amazon representatives allegedly attempted to evade detection using code words and abbreviations, by spelling out their email addresses and also asking eBay sellers to speak with them over the phone.
When referencing their firm, Amazon representatives would allegedly write AMZ, A.M.Z.N or a-m-a-z-o-n, in order to make it harder for eBay to find them through keyword searches.
According to the lawsuit, the poaching operation was not only carried out by Amazon employees in the US, but also in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and Singapore.
eBay says that Amazon has been luring and stealing its sellers since 2015. The online auction platform is demanding a desist order, damages and penalties from Amazon.