• eBay just slapped Amazon with a lawsuit centered around allegations of seller poaching.
  • This is the second such lawsuit that eBay has filed against its rival.
  • The latest suit specifically accuses several Amazon managers of a criminal conspiracy to undermine eBay.

Amazon and eBay are embroiled in a legal spat over online sellers.

A copy of the case that eBay provided to Business Insider alleged that its rival engaged in "racketeering activity" in order to "solicit many hundreds of eBay sellers to sell on Amazon's platform."

The July 31 filing alleges that Amazon managers specifically directed their employees to set up eBay accounts and approach sellers using the site's M2M messaging system, escaping detection by spelling out portions of emails and using punctuation to obfuscate phone numbers.

These managers are accused of assigning Amazon employees recruitment "quotas" and telling them to "target" eBay sellers who could "supply trending items or fill holes in Amazon's swath of product offerings."

"This exploitation of eBay's M2M system has been coordinated, targeted, and designed to inflict harm on eBay," the case says.

The lawsuit specifically singles out three Amazon managers. A previous lawsuit that doesn't specifically accuse these individuals of a criminal conspiracy is currently in arbitration.

"Based on new details brought to us, it is clear that Amazon's illegal scheme to target eBay sellers is more coordinated, systemic and pervasive than originally thought," an eBay spokesperson told Business Insider. "There are laws to protect against anti-competitive and illegal tactics, and we have every intention of holding the company and specific ringleaders accountable."

Amazon did not return Business Insider's request for comment.

--This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

Published on: Aug 1, 2019