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eBay shares fall as it files lawsuit against Amazon

eBay shares closed lower in the US Wednesday, as the online marketplace filed a lawsuit against Amazon. The legal action comes as eBay has recently been made aware of practices by Amazon to poach its sellers, in violation of its policies.

eBay shares ended the US Wednesday trading session 0.71% lower at $32.02. The stock has been trending lower in recent weeks.

eBay sues Amazon

eBay filed the court case in Santa Clara County, Carolina, accusing Amazon of creating eBay accounts with the sole purpose of soliciting sellers. The online marketplace said that in some cases, messages were sent to eBay sellers, by Amazon representatives, within minutes of new accounts being set up.

eBay was only alerted to the practice – which began some time in 2015 – by one of its sellers. The lawsuit follows a letter from eBay to Amazon, earlier this month asking Jeff Bezos firm to stop the practice it had uncovered.

“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 earlier this month. “We have demanded that Amazon end its unlawful activity and we will take the appropriate steps, as needed, to protect eBay.”

Court papers

eBay’s court filing in Santa Clara County, clearly accuses Amazon of working to poach its high value sellers to use its own site, through means that violate eBay’s policies.

“Over the past several years, Amazon has perpetrated a scheme to infiltrate and exploit eBay’s internal email system,” the papers begin. “Amazon did this to recruit high-value eBay sellers to Amazon. The breadth and scope of Amazon’s conduct is startling.”

eBay has a strict policy in which sellers are prohibited from using the eBay internal seller messaging system for solicitation. However, Amazon’s representatives have consistently disregarded this rule for some three years.

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