eBay sues Amazon, accuses online retailer of illegally poaching sellers

On Wednesday, eBay filed a lawsuit against Amazon accusing the company of illegally poaching sellers on its marketplace using eBay’s internal messaging system.

This follows a report earlier in the month where eBay already accused Amazon of poaching sellers but at that time there was no hint of a lawsuit. But now that has changed.

READ MORE: eBay Accuses Amazon of Poaching Sellers on its Platform

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” since 2015.

eBay claims the activity involved dozens of Amazon representatives who each sent out hundreds of email to high-value eBay sellers.

“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 alleges in its lawsuit.

eBay further alleges “Amazon’s scheme violated eBay’s User Agreement and policies, and induced eBay sellers to do the same. These rules prohibit eBay members from using the M2M system to solicit people to sell off the platform.”

The company also said in the lawsuit, “Rather than follow the rules, the representatives employed various techniques to circumvent detection by eBay. They changed the presentation 0f Amazon email addresses, for example: “You can write me at jdoe AT amazon DOT 00111;” “DoeJohn at Amazon dot com,” and “JDoe at amazon dot com. They also provided unconventional phone number formats, again, solely for the purpose of evading detection — telling eBay sellers, for example, that “you can write down 2.0.6. — 5.5.5. — and then delete this message if you so choose?”

eBay Asks Court for Damage Award

The lawsuit does not ask for a specific monetary damage award. But instead asks the court for monetary relief, including damages sustained by eBay, restitution of Defendant’s (Amazon) proceeds, and an award of punitive and exemplary damages to eBay.

Here is the complete lawsuit as filed by eBay against Amazon:

eBay provides specific details in the lawsuit about emails and ways Amazon representatives allegedly approached sellers to list on Amazon.

The accusations do seem damning if eBay has the electronic proof to substantiate their case in a court of law.

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