eBay claims Amazon managers illegally tried to recruit its top sellers

eBay claims Amazon managers illegally tried to recruit its top sellers

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eBay (EBAY) is once again accusing Amazon managers of illegally conspiring to recruit its “high-value” sellers, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, claims that Amazon managers, including three identified by name, set quotas for recruiting sellers and directed their employees to illegally poach eBay sellers. It was first reported by the New York Times.

eBay alleges that Amazon sales representatives were told to create and use eBay accounts to access the company’s internal messaging system for members to solicit “many hundreds” of eBay vendors to sell on Amazon (AMZN). eBay said Amazon exploited its system to “inflict harm on eBay.”
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The company also claims that Amazon targeted specific types of eBay sellers, such as those who could offer trending items or fill gaps in Amazon’s product lineup.

Amazon declined to comment.

This isn’t the first time eBay has alleged that Amazon tried to poach its sellers. In a lawsuit filed last year, which is now in arbitration, eBay expressed similar concerns. However, Wednesday’s lawsuit named specific Amazon managers.

“Based on new details brought to us, it is clear that Amazon’s illegal scheme to target eBay sellers is more coordinated, systemic and pervasive than originally thought. There are laws to protect against anti-competitive and illegal tactics, and we have every intention of holding the company and specific ringleaders accountable,” an eBay spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business.

The lawsuit comes at a time when tech companies, including Amazon, are facing anti-trust scrutiny from Capitol Hill about their market dominance.

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