eBay sues Amazon for illegal poaching of sellers

EBay.com is suing  Amazon for having allegedly poached sellers on its marketplace illegally. EBay alleged that Amazon had "perpetrated a scheme to infiltrate and exploit eBay’s internal member email system (M2M)" to recruit its sellers to Amazon, according to the court document seen by Marketing.

The issue was brought to light when an eBay seller informed the company a few weeks ago after being approached by an Amazon representative. EBay notified Amazon of the issues by letter, requested it to cease and desist from such activity and asked Amazon to provide additional information about the conduct. Amazon failed to confirm that it would cease and desist, and did not provide any requested information.

The court document added that since 2015, "dozens of" US and overseas sales representatives from Amazon created eBay member accounts to access its M2M email system and used it to seek "hundreds of" eBay sellers to sell on its platform.

Amazon sales representatives had allegedly created eBay accounts with “no intent of ever using them to conduct legitimate business on eBay’s platform”. While others waited less than five minutes after opening an account to send solicitation messages to eBay sellers, one representative sent the emails within minutes of opening three separate accounts.

According to eBay, Amazon’s scheme “violated” its user agreement and policies and prompted eBay sellers to also use the M2M system to seek out people to sell off Amazon. As per the rules, eBay sellers are also prohibited from doing so.

"Amazon’s misuse of eBay’s M2M system has been coordinated, targeted, and designed to inflict harm on eBay. Indeed, one of the Amazon sales representatives Who participated in this scheme described the team he worked on as a hunter/recruiter team which actively searches for sellers we believe can do well on the [Amazon] platform," the court document stated.

Amazon decline to comment on Marketing's queries.