Thursday, October 25, 2018
EBay filed a lawsuit against Amazon in Santa Clara County, California, on Wednesday, accusing the company of orchestrating a scheme to steal its biggest sellers.
Amazon instructed employees to create fake eBay accounts and reach out to eBay sellers, using eBay’s messaging system, asking them if they’d like to sell on Amazon.
Some Amazon employees allegedly created multiple eBay accounts with this aim, using them to send dozens of introductory messages like, as excerpted in the suit:
“I am part of what you would call a hunter/recruiter team which actively searches for sellers we believe can do well on the platform”; “I work for Amazon and we are trying t0 recruit a couple sellers”; and “I work for a small team here at Amazon that recruits a finite number of high-potential sellers.”
This, eBay argues, is in violation of its user agreement, which states: “We encourage open communication between our members but we don’t allow our members to use these options to send spam, offers to buy or sell off eBay, threats, profanity, or hate speech.”
The company is demanding, from Amazon, “monetary relief” to cover damages, as well as restitution of Amazon’s “unlawful proceeds” (which requires a look at Amazon’s sales and revenue records for all of the sellers it allegedly poached), punitive damages “as may be awarded at trial,” attorney’s fees, and interest on all of that.