Ebay accuses Amazon of poaching its sellers

Ebay accuses Amazon of poaching its sellers
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Ebay on Wednesday publicly accused Amazon of trying to poach its sellers using the online auction company's own messaging system.

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“We have uncovered an unlawful and troubling scheme on the part of Amazon to solicit eBay sellers to move to Amazon’s platform,” Ebay said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.

It sent a cease and desist letter to Amazon on Monday.

“We have demanded that Amazon end its unlawful activity and we will take the appropriate steps, as needed, to protect eBay,” the company said in a statement.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on Ebay’s claim, the company discovered the alleged poaching after being alerted by a seller. The seller claimed that about 10 days ago a person using Ebay’s messaging tool tried to persuade the seller to move to Amazon.

According to the cease and desist letter, which the Journal obtained, eBay is accusing Amazon of violating California’s Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, a law covering computer crime, as well as Ebay’s user agreement.

When asked for comment, an Amazon spokesperson told The Hill that the company is “conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations.”

Ebay and Amazon have found themselves increasingly in competition in recent years as both rely on third-party vendors selling their products through their e-commerce platforms.

Though Ebay gained early dominance in the e-commerce space, Amazon has surpassed it to become the most dominant online seller in the U.S.