American internet platform eBay has sued Amazon because the latter has allegedly tried to lure away professional sellers in an underhand way. Earlier this month, the former auction site had declared its competitor in default.
"Systematic and coordinated"
According to eBay, Jeff Bezos' company has been approaching top sellers who offer their goods through eBay for years. This is done in a "systematic and coordinated" way using the internal messaging system (a kind of internal e-mail platform), used by eBay dealers to communicate with each other and with eBay itself. The platform claims to have found about a thousand messages from fifty different 'sales representatives' which show that these Amazon employees were trying to convince dealers to leave eBay and switch over to Amazon's marketplace.
In an attempt to keep eBay from intercepting the messages in question, the Amazon brand name was consistently spelled hyphenated as 'A-m-a-z-o-n' or divided by periods ('A.m.a.z.o.n'), as shown in the record issued by eBay to the Santa Clara court. According to the Wall Street Journal, which managed to take a look at a copy, the practice was not just limited to the United States: in Australia, France, Italy, Singapore and Spain Amazon is said to be using the same technique.
To eBay, this is decisive proof that there is a "systematic and coordinated effort to infiltrate the eBay platform and use it to lure the best dealers to Amazon". It's impossible that the head office is not aware of this, they add. Amazon has not yet responded to the allegations.