eBay alleges Amazon has a scheme for poaching sellers off its platform

Amid intense competition in the e-commerce industry, eBay has made accusations against Amazon saying that the company unlawfully poached individual merchants from eBay’s platform. eBay made a statement according to which it alleges that Amazon employees have been convincing merchants to move to Amazon using eBay’s seller messaging feature.

eBay said the scheme has been running for many years and across several countries. The company had subsequently issued a cease-and-desist letter earlier in the week, reports confirm. A spokesperson representing Amazon has stated it will conduct a thorough investigations into the allegations.

Referring to eBay’s statement, it specified the company has uncovered a troubling and unlawful scheme on Amazon’s part to solicit eBay merchants to shift to Amazon’s platform. It has demanded that Amazon shut down this unethical activity.

Apparently, eBay recovered hundreds of messages in which Amazon employees attempted to go around its content monitoring, by using tactics like adding extra characters to mask the word Amazon, spelling out email addresses, suggestions to make offline contact, among others. eBay claims the contact violates the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act.

Industry experts believe the increased competition for third-party sellers has resulted from a general shift in retail and ecommerce trends as well as the growing significance of catering to independent and small businesses that conduct all or majority of their sales online. Consumers are also purchasing more and more items online directly from sellers via marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, encouraging companies to start their entire venture online.

eBay, for the record, has turned from a platform for selling old or used products and collectibles to an online portal where businesses can sell new goods. Amazon has also built its platform as a part of its retail business where it charges merchants for selling, marketing and other functions of the marketplace.