Ebay is suing Amazon employees for allegedly attempting to steal its top sellers as the battle between the ecommerce giants intensifies.
Three Amazon employees have been accused of breaking racketeering laws and knowingly harming Ebay in order to secure profits for Amazon, according to a lawsuit filed in San Jose, California federal court on Wednesday.
According to the Ebay, the trio instructed employees to carry out a “coordinated, targeted” attack “designed to inflict harm on Ebay” by messaging its top sellers via its private messaging service encouraging them to jump ship and set up a store on Amazon.
This is reportedly in breach of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, as employees were directed to set up personal Ebay member accounts for the purpose of soliciting “many hundreds of Ebay sellers to sell on Amazon’s platform.”
The feud began in October last year when Ebay sent Amazon a cease-and-desist letter, launching official legal action a few weeks later where it was claimed that around 50 Amazon employees send over 1000 messages to Ebay sellers.
This case has since moved to arbitration, meaning the two companies agreed to settle the case out of court.
Amazon denied the claims, stating that a few rogue employees were responsible, however Ebay has countered this in its new case stating that the conduct was part of a larger effort.
Its new complaint claims “representatives were given quotas for recruiting sellers, and were expected to satisfy large chunks of those quotas by targeting and illegally recruiting Ebay sellers”.