eBay accuses Amazon of illegal scheme to poach e-commerce sellers in new lawsuit

eBay accuses Amazon of illegal scheme to poach e-commerce sellers in new lawsuit

1:42pm, 1st August, 2019
eBay’s Berlin office. (Photo via eBay) E-commerce heavyweight eBay is suing rival Amazon, alleging that managers at the Seattle tech giant conspired to poach e-commerce sellers through eBay’s own messaging platform. This is the against Amazon in the last year over alleged seller poaching. The previous suit, which was filed in October and has since been moved to arbitration, contained similar allegations. However, the previous lawsuit only named Amazon as a defendant. The new suit names three Amazon managers, accusing them of participating in a scheme to train and encourage dozens of the company’s sales reps to poach eBay sellers. “Amazon managers and others at Amazon directed dozens of Amazon sales representatives in the U.S. and overseas to set up and use eBay member accounts to access eBay’s “M2M” email system to solicit many hundreds of eBay sellers to sell on Amazon’s platform,” according to the new lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Northern District of California. Amazon declined to comment on the lawsuit. Amazon reps allegedly went to great lengths to skirt eBay policies on the messaging platform, a sign that the tech giant knew what it was doing was wrong, according to the suit. The Defendants and other Amazon managers, as well as the representatives they directed, knew that the scheme was wrong, as evidenced by systematic efforts used to avoid detection. eBay, like many websites, has automated programs designed to detect and prevent unauthorized use of its M2M system. The Defendants and other Amazon managers trained sales representatives about eBay detection techniques and how to avoid them, and Amazon representatives were diligent students, observing that (in the words of one such representative) “eBay monitors their messages pretty well for contact info,” that “eBay doesn’t allow phone numbers in these messages,” and that “ebay will not allow the exchange of email addresses in these messages[.]” Based on training provided by the Defendants and other Amazon managers, the sales representatives used various anti-detection techniques. The representatives changed the presentation of Amazon email addresses, for example: “You can write me at jdoe AT amazon DOT com,” “DoeJohn at Amazon dot com,” and “JDoe at amazon dot com.” 2 They also provided unconventional phone number formats, again, solely for the purpose of evading detection – telling eBay sellers, for example, that “you can write down 2.0.6. – 5.5.5. – 5.5.5.5. and then delete this message if you so choose.” In the lawsuit, eBay accuses the Amazon managers of racketeering, fraud, interfering in contractual relations and more. The suit is asking a federal judge to bar Amazon from poaching eBay sellers and for damages. The situation first came to light last year after an eBay seller came forward to report alleged poaching efforts by Amazon. eBay then to the tech giant, demanding Amazon knock off its alleged seller poaching efforts. At the time, Amazon said in a statement “we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations.” Amazon and eBay are both major players in the e-commerce industry. Though the tech giants differ slightly — Amazon directly sells products, while eBay does not — they both run huge marketplace businesses that rely on third-party sellers. eBay CEO Devin Wieng he doesn’t want to compete with Amazon directly, though he acknowledged the companies do often jockey for buyers and sellers on their platform. The e-commerce world is big enough for a number of players, including both Amazon and eBay, and Wenig wants his company to develop its own identity. “I don’t want to compete with Amazon; I want to get as far away from Amazon as I can,” Wenig said last year. “I want us to stand for something fundamentally different. I want eBay to be a winner in discovery-based shopping. I want it to be a place where people think of first for the things they love, not just the things they need.” Here is the full suit: by on Scribd
eBay accuses Amazon managers of illegal scheme to poach e-commerce sellers in new lawsuit

eBay accuses Amazon managers of illegal scheme to poach e-commerce sellers in new lawsuit

12:40pm, 1st August, 2019
eBay’s Berlin office. (Photo via eBay) E-commerce heavyweight eBay is suing rival Amazon, alleging that managers at the Seattle tech giant conspired to poach e-commerce sellers through eBay’s own messaging platform. This is the against Amazon in the last year over alleged seller poaching. The previous suit, which was filed in October and has since been moved to arbitration, contained similar allegations. However, the previous lawsuit only named Amazon as a defendant. The new suit names three Amazon managers, accusing them of participating in a scheme to train and encourage dozens of the company’s sales reps to poach eBay sellers. “Amazon managers and others at Amazon directed dozens of Amazon sales representatives in the U.S. and overseas to set up and use eBay member accounts to access eBay’s “M2M” email system to solicit many hundreds of eBay sellers to sell on Amazon’s platform,” according to the new lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Northern District of California. Amazon declined to comment on the lawsuit. Amazon reps allegedly went to great lengths to skirt eBay policies on the messaging platform, a sign that the tech giant knew what it was doing was wrong, according to the suit. The Defendants and other Amazon managers, as well as the representatives they directed, knew that the scheme was wrong, as evidenced by systematic efforts used to avoid detection. eBay, like many websites, has automated programs designed to detect and prevent unauthorized use of its M2M system. The Defendants and other Amazon managers trained sales representatives about eBay detection techniques and how to avoid them, and Amazon representatives were diligent students, observing that (in the words of one such representative) “eBay monitors their messages pretty well for contact info,” that “eBay doesn’t allow phone numbers in these messages,” and that “ebay will not allow the exchange of email addresses in these messages[.]” Based on training provided by the Defendants and other Amazon managers, the sales representatives used various anti-detection techniques. The representatives changed the presentation of Amazon email addresses, for example: “You can write me at jdoe AT amazon DOT com,” “DoeJohn at Amazon dot com,” and “JDoe at amazon dot com.” 2 They also provided unconventional phone number formats, again, solely for the purpose of evading detection – telling eBay sellers, for example, that “you can write down 2.0.6. – 5.5.5. – 5.5.5.5. and then delete this message if you so choose.” In the lawsuit, eBay accuses the Amazon managers of racketeering, fraud, interfering in contractual relations and more. The suit is asking a federal judge to bar Amazon from poaching eBay sellers and for damages. The situation first came to light last year after an eBay seller came forward to report alleged poaching efforts by Amazon. eBay then to the tech giant, demanding Amazon knock off its alleged seller poaching efforts. At the time, Amazon said in a statement “we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations.” Amazon and eBay are both major players in the e-commerce industry. Though the tech giants differ slightly — Amazon directly sells products, while eBay does not — they both run huge marketplace businesses that rely on third-party sellers. eBay CEO Devin Wieng he doesn’t want to compete with Amazon directly, though he acknowledged the companies do often jockey for buyers and sellers on their platform. The e-commerce world is big enough for a number of players, including both Amazon and eBay, and Wenig wants his company to develop its own identity. “I don’t want to compete with Amazon; I want to get as far away from Amazon as I can,” Wenig said last year. “I want us to stand for something fundamentally different. I want eBay to be a winner in discovery-based shopping. I want it to be a place where people think of first for the things they love, not just the things they need.” Here is the full suit: by on Scribd
Tesla’s fortunes spin after SEC accuses CEO Elon Musk of violating a tweet deal

Tesla’s fortunes spin after SEC accuses CEO Elon Musk of violating a tweet deal

3:28pm, 26th February, 2019
Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter habit has sparked gyrations in the stock market. (Tesla via YouTube) Tesla CEO Elon Musk is in trouble again with the Securities and Exchange Commission, this time over a 13-word tweet. The SEC filed a motion in federal court on Monday, claiming that a tweet that Musk sent out last week violated the terms of an brought last September. After the motion came to light, lost as much as 5 percent of their $298.77 market-close value in after-hours trading. The price crept back to somewhere around its previous level overnight, however, as traders digested the news. It’s the latest in a series of ups and downs (or, more accurately, “downs and ups”) caused by Musk’s Twitter habit. Read the PDF: Under the terms of last year’s agreement, Musk was supposed to have all of his Twitter comments pre-approved by Tesla’s designated representative if they touched upon “information material to the company or its shareholders.” That provision was meant to head off tweets like the one that Musk sent out last August, claiming that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private even though that wasn’t actually the case. That claim and its aftermath sparked wild gyrations in the market, leading the SEC to open its fraud investigation. The agreement also required Musk to step down from his post as Tesla’s chairman and pay a $20 million fine. Tesla was also fined $20 million, and was forced to appoint two new independent directors to its board. The seeming resolution of the SEC case, plus Tesla’s , sent Tesla’s share price as high as $376. But Musk touched off a new round of regulatory trouble on Feb. 19 when he talked about the production outlook for this year: Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019 — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) That claim was amended a little more than four hours later: Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) The SEC seized on the initial tweet, and within days investigators were asking Tesla whether the tweet had been pre-approved. In court filings (which Tesla had sought to make confidential), Bradley Bondi, a lawyer for Tesla, acknowledged that the first tweet had not been specifically pre-approved. Instead, it “was intended to recapitulate the information set forth” in forward-looking statements that were made by Tesla and Musk in January, in connection with year-end results. “Mr. Musk believed that the substance had already been appropriately vetted, pre-approved, and publicly disseminated,” Bondi wrote. The substance wasn’t quite the same, though. Back in January, Tesla said it was aiming to hit a , or an annualized rate of roughly 500,000 a year, assuming that no snags arose in its plans for expansion in China. That’s not exactly what Musk said in the first tweet. Bondi said Tesla’s designated tweet-checkers realized that, and so they hammered out the wording of the second tweet as a clarification. Read the PDF: For what it’s worth, on the day after the tweet, Tesla’s general counsel, Dan Butswinkas, after spending only two months on the job. Jonathan Chang, vice president of Tesla’s legal department, took over Butswinkas’ position. The SEC said the fact that Musk didn’t get pre-approval of the wording for the “evidently inaccurate” first tweet was a violation of the agreement. As a result, the SEC is calling on Musk to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of the court’s judgment from last September. “A violation need not be willful in order to find contempt,” the SEC wrote in its motion to U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, where the original judgment was filed. The SEC also cited last December as evidence that he wasn’t taking the agreement’s requirements seriously. Back then, Musk acknowledged that none of his tweets had been “censored” since the settlement. “I guess we might make some mistakes,” he told CBS’ Lesley Stahl. “Who knows? … Nobody’s perfect.” Musk went on to say that “I do not respect the SEC … I do not respect them” — but would abide by the settlement “because I respect the justice system.” Now it’s up to the justice system to decide whether to take Musk to task over an ill-turned tweet. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan gave Musk a March 11 deadline to explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt. If Nathan rules that the violation is serious enough, Musk could face further limitations on his activity at Tesla … or on Twitter. In a follow-up Twitter exchange, Musk signaled that he intends to stick to his guns: SEC forgot to read Tesla earnings transcript, which clearly states 350k to 500k. How embarrassing …
Tesla’s shares plummet after SEC accuses CEO Elon Musk of violating a tweet deal

Tesla’s shares plummet after SEC accuses CEO Elon Musk of violating a tweet deal

8:53pm, 25th February, 2019
Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter habit has sparked gyrations in the stock market. (Tesla via YouTube) Tesla CEO Elon Musk is in trouble again with the Securities and Exchange Commission, this time over a 13-word tweet. The SEC filed a motion in federal court today, claiming that a tweet that Musk sent out last week violated the terms of an agreement aimed at settling a securities fraud case brought last September. After today’s motion came to light, Tesla’s share price dropped by more than 4 percent in after-hours trading, from $298.77 at the close to around $288 a couple of hours later. It’s the latest in a series of ups and downs caused by Musk’s Twitter habit. Read the PDF: Under the terms of last year’s agreement, Musk was supposed to have all of his Twitter comments pre-approved by Tesla’s designated representative if they touched upon “information material to the company or its shareholders.” That provision was meant to head off tweets like the one that Musk sent out last August, claiming that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private even though that wasn’t actually the case. That claim and its aftermath sparked wild gyrations in the market, leading the SEC to open its fraud investigation. The agreement also required Musk to step down from his post as Tesla’s chairman and pay a $20 million fine. Tesla was also fined $20 million, and was forced to appoint two new independent directors to its board. The seeming resolution of the SEC case, plus Tesla’s profit-generating increase in production for its Model 3 electric car, sent Tesla’s share price as high as $376. But Musk touched off a new round of regulatory trouble on Feb. 19 when he talked about the production outlook for this year: Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019 — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) That claim was amended a little more than four hours later: Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) The SEC seized on the initial tweet, and within days investigators were asking Tesla whether the tweet had been pre-approved. In court filings (which Tesla had sought to make confidential), Bradley Bondi, a lawyer for Tesla, acknowledged that the first tweet had not been specifically pre-approved. Instead, it “was intended to recapitulate the information set forth” in forward-looking statements that were made by Tesla and Musk in January, in connection with year-end results. “Mr. Musk believed that the substance had already been appropriately vetted, pre-approved, and publicly disseminated,” Bondi wrote. The substance wasn’t quite the same, though. Back in January, Tesla said it was aiming to hit a goal of turning out about 10,000 cars a week sometime between the end of 2019 and the middle of 2020. That’s not exactly what Musk said in the first tweet. Tesla’s designated tweet-checkers realized that, and so they hammered out the wording of the second tweet as a clarification, Bondi said. Read the PDF: For what it’s worth, on the day after the tweet, Tesla’s general counsel, Dan Butswinkas, announced that he was leaving the company after spending only two months on the job. Jonathan Chang, vice president of Tesla’s legal department, took over Butswinkas’ position. The SEC said the fact that Musk didn’t get pre-approval of the wording for the “evidently inaccurate” first tweet was a violation of the agreement. As a result, the SEC is calling on Musk to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of the court’s judgment from last September. “A violation need not be willful in order to find contempt,” the SEC wrote in its motion to U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, where the original judgment was filed. The SEC also cited an interview with Musk that aired on CBS’ “60 Minutes” TV show last December as evidence that he wasn’t taking the agreement’s requirements seriously. Back then, Musk acknowledged that none of his tweets had been “censored” since the settlement. “I guess we might make some mistakes,” he told CBS’ Lesley Stahl. “Who knows? … Nobody’s perfect.” Musk went on to say that “I do not respect the SEC … I do not respect them” — but would comply with the agreement “because I respect the justice system.” Now it’s up to the justice system to decide whether to take Musk to task over an ill-turned tweet. If the judge in the case thinks the violation is serious enough, Musk could face further limitations on his role at Tesla.