Amazon secured a major legal victory in its fight with rival eBay over seller poaching, with an arbitration panel ruling in its favor earlier this month, according to court filings by the company on Tuesday.
eBay (EBAY) had filed two lawsuits — against Amazon (AMZN) in Santa Clara County in 2018 and against a group of Amazon managers in the US District Court for the Northern District of California in 2019 — accusing the Seattle-based company of illegally poaching eBay sellers by infiltrating its internal messaging system. eBay alleged that Amazon sales representatives were told to create and use eBay accounts to access the company’s internal messaging system for members to solicit “many hundreds” of eBay vendors to sell on Amazon. eBay said Amazon exploited its system to “inflict harm on eBay.”
The arbitration panel appointed by both courts found that while eBay proved claims of a breach, the company “did not prove it suffered damages as a result.”
The panel denied all of eBay’s claims against Amazon, according to the filings. The ruling still needs to be confirmed by the courts.
Amazon declined to comment on the arbitration rulings. eBay did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The rulings are a key win for Amazon at a time when it is facing increased regulatory scrutiny in the United States and overseas, with the European Union hitting the online retail giant with antitrust charges earlier this month — a few months after CEO Jeff Bezos was grilled by US lawmakers over similar concerns.