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Amazon defeats eBay lawsuit over seller poaching

Amazon defeats eBay lawsuit over seller poaching


eBay couldn’t prove it suffered harm

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An illustration of the Amazon logo on the top of a building.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon has prevailed in a lawsuit claiming it secretly poached eBay sellers. The companies and a group of Amazon managers filed arbitration updates for two complaints, one from 2018 and another from 2019. The complaints alleged that Amazon employees signed up for eBay accounts under false pretenses, then lured eBay merchants to their platform.

In both cases, eBay convinced an arbitration panel that there was a breach of its user contract. But it couldn’t prove it suffered harm as a result, according to documents filed with the Superior Court of Santa Clara and a California district court. More generally, eBay was unsuccessful in arguing that Amazon had coordinated a poaching campaign against it.

The decisions come as Amazon faces an antitrust probe in Europe and the prospect of greater regulation in the US. This includes scrutiny of whether it unfairly competes with third-party sellers on its own platform — but not whether it unfairly recruited them from other sites. Amazon declined to comment on the case; eBay didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.