EBay is mad at Amazon and sent them a letter

Jet.com Ndhdz36
Oct 4, 2018 90 Comments

Sneaky sneaky by Amazon, but shouldn’t you guys at eBay have caught this before being told by a user?

“EBay sent a cease-and-desist letter to Amazon on Monday to stop the alleged recruiting practice after determining roughly 50 Amazon sales representatives world-wide sent more than 1,000 messages to sellers on its platform.”

“EBay investigated the matter after a seller alerted the company about 10 days ago of someone using the messaging system on eBay’s site to convince this seller to move to Amazon.”

“To avoid detection, messages sent by Amazon sales reps stayed generic and frequently used hyphens or periods between letters to describe the rival company, including a-m-a-z-o-n or A.M.Z.N., the cease-and-desist letter alleges. They also spelled out email addresses and phone numbers to avoid automated detection meant to prevent sharing contact information, eBay claims in the letter said.”



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TOP 90 Comments
  • Microsoft ThisOrThat
    Why is it illegal?
    Oct 4, 2018 19
    • Amazon / Other WarrenPeas
      To be even more fair, VSTS knocks the shit out of our DevOps tooling.
      Oct 5, 2018
    • Apple Gg56fh
      What is VSTS?
      Oct 5, 2018
    • Amazon / Other WarrenPeas
      Visual Studio Team Services. It used to be TFS, the last incarnation put it in the cloud, added good git support, it has kanban/agile projects with ticketing, build management with drag-drop/modular functionality and release management, artifact storage (docker,etc.), and testing suites.

      They recently rebranded it:

      I've used it in previous companies as VSTS and use it for personal development.
      Oct 5, 2018
    • Amazon VpYJ78
      VSTS is a huge piece of shit unless you have Stockholm syndrome from using too many ms products. The comments on issues are literally a <textarea> element. The filtering is broken half the time, and unlike SIM, it has no active development for the many, many bugs
      Oct 9, 2018
    • Microsoft / Product

      Microsoft Product

      This is not true. SIM is a gigantic piece of shit compared to azure devops it also does 1/10 the shit that devops does. I like jira more than both though. And it makes sense that amazon is moving off of sim
      Oct 14, 2018
  • Postmates IOBB35
    Hey can we send a cease and desist to Uber for telling people to use UberEats instead of Postmates? Maybe this will delay the inevitable a little longer for us lol
    Oct 4, 2018 6
    • Uber / Eng oOBb03
      This dude or dudette needs a referral asap.
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Airbnb Deciszv
      How is your leetcode prep coming up?
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Cornerstone mhOf85
      Why is it inevitable? Postmates is better tbh
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Hitachi Vantara / Other vataran
      Ya I prefer postmates over doordash and never even bothered with Uber eats
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Uber / Eng oOBb03
      Yeah, but from where can you order quality fare such as Macdonalds or Subway?

      That's right. You'll find them on UberEats.
      Oct 4, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng Ahdu53&!
    Everyone always acts like it’s a coordinated effort by some huge evil corporate borg whenever amazon does stuff like this.

    In reality it was probably just a few dumbass sales reps trying to meet their numbers. Amazon as a whole is incapable of coordinating anything anymore. We all just kinda do stuff and try to get promos
    Oct 4, 2018 7
    • Amazon HfeV56
      So so true
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Ahdu53&!
      Yeah it’s definitely why I like amazon so much. If you think of a good idea, you can pretty much just get your L6 on board and go do it (provided you don’t want like 30 head count or expensive ass AWS hardware in which case you’re talking doc writing)
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Microsoft Dedpull
      You guys are starting to sound a lot like like MSFT over there 😂
      Oct 5, 2018
    • Amazon TCT snoop
      This is 100% how it is...
      Oct 5, 2018
    • Microsoft / Sales

      Microsoft Sales

      Those "dumbass sales reps" are go getters, and innovative, sales is cut throat, you try new things constantly milk it while it lasts and then move.on to the next tactic. We are paid to sell and grow revenue, sometimes you walk a fine line if you get burned for something like this, you end up at a new job as a closer, if you cross the line too much you're done and rebuild. A good sales person is a surviver a great sales person is a lucky good salesperson, and there are few of either one, the rest are waste order takers or sales managers.
      Oct 5, 2018
  • eBay / Other

    eBay Other

    I'am pretty friendly and here for some fun
    Although eBay just accused Amazon of unfair trade practices, it isn't looking for regulators for help. In an onstage interview at the GeekWire Summit yesterday, CEO Devin Wenig told me, "That's not the way we compete."
    Oct 4, 2018 16
    • Uber / Eng oOBb03
      Violating a contract is most definitely illegal. Torts and contracts in civil and common law countries are handled in courts under "civil law" as distinct from criminal law, but it is law nonetheless.


      I have multiple legal cases pending against others in civil court.

      For engineers who deal in code all day, you'd think that would transfer to legal code. Professor Lessig even wrote a book about such overlap.
      Oct 4, 2018
    • VMware BobbleHat
      Uber - sounds like we are both not lawyers, but I do have one in the house. Contract law and tort law are not the same thing even though in many jurisdiction there is significant overlap and a court can choose which to apply based on the details. Generalizing into civil law does nothing. Breach of contract can lead to legally enforceable penalties between the parties - but that does not make it “illegal”. “Illegal” is a not legally defined term, and is colloquially used to mean violating a law. There is no law that says parties must not breach a contract. The law simply defines how to acquire and enforce remedies when a contract is breached. I will repeat again, it is NOT illegal to breach a contract. For anyone who need legal advise please talk to a lawyer.
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Uber / Eng oOBb03
      I didn't say tort and contract law are the same thing. And you should tell your housemate to go back to law school.

      When you violate a contract, it's called a breach of contract.

      That creates a legal cause of action.

      You go to court over it. For a legal opinion and a legal order.

      The courts use common or civil law (jurisdiction depending) to decide the issue, based on laws and legal reasoning per their civil law framework.

      In the U.S./English common law system, they examine case law, in addition to any rules or statutes written in a code, plus any charter or constitutions.

      The crux is that you want to define "illegal" as only those things that are written in a statute. That's not just wrong, it's not even enough, since there are tons of jurisdictions that have made those very laws you say don't exist.

      Contract law, in addition to originating in common law, also frequently has overlap with statutes, as legislatures wade in to clarify their position on changes that should be made to law. The concept of "breach of contract" itself is a common law concept.

      There thus is most definitely law that prohibits contract breach. The law covers how to determine remedies as well when an illegal breach occurs.

      The foundation of the requirement to comply with the contract is rather simple: in common law you have a legal duty to perform in good faith.

      In fact, all U.S. States have adopted the uniform commercial code. All of the contracts under it have a duty of good faith:

      "Uniform Commercial Code Section 1-304 which provides that “every contract or duty within this Act imposes an obligation of good faith in its performance or enforcement”."

      (see https://legalknowledgeportal.com/2017/02/09/the-implied-duty-of-good-faith-in-commercial-contracts-and-its-impact-on-deferred-consideration-clauses-in-corporate-sale-and-purchase-agreements/ )

      Fortunately UCITA was never adopted widely, but I believe it would have covered service agreements such as this. That was an attempt to add some computer concepts to the UCC, filling gaps.

      So while there's no widely passed specific written law against the particular form of agreement, since it doesn't appear to be part of the UCC, there is still a common law duty to perform the provisions of a contract in good faith.

      As such, it's cleary in contravention of law -- specifically common law.

      If you don't understand this yet, just read it from Harvard Law Review:


      (In actual England, their common law is reluctant to be so clear -- https://www.fenwickelliott.com/research-insight/annual-review/2016/principle-good-faith-english-law "England stands out as one of the few jurisdictions that does not recognise a universal implied duty of good faith between contracting parties:" (see legalknowledgeportal link above))

      So your characterization that there is no law against a breach of contract is a misunderstanding of the duty to perform in good faith.

      You could google it and see that your argument was tried and failed even in the top result: https://www.quora.com/How-should-a-breach-of-contract-be-qualified-is-it-illegal-is-it-against-the-law

      The first answer sums it up best, "To approach the first question last, the generally-accepted definition of "illegal" is an act that violates the law.  While you are correct that there are not statutes that specifically define breach of contract (outside a commercial setting, the Uniform Commercial Code does exist for those situations) as "illegal", it would still be such as a common law matter."

      When you argue for non-existence, you should make at least some basic effort to search first.

      I rest my case.
      Oct 5, 2018
    • VMware BobbleHat
      Dang Uber - you could just read the other 6 answers by written by actual lawyers in your Quora link to get a simple answer to the question. And they are much more clearly saying: breach of contract is NOT illegal. My housemate is an actual lawyer with > a decade contract law experience and also says the same thing. I hope you are not representing yourself in your court cases.
      Oct 5, 2018
    • Uber / Eng oOBb03
      The same lawyers that argue that negligent torts aren't illegal, since they only involve compensatory damages?

      The issue is that some lawyers argue that some duties which have no inherent penalties, even though penalties for the results that violate the duty, are not illegal in themselves.

      But it's the not-legal non-compliance with the duty that has ramifications that must be compensated for that are at issue. If it were not a duty, the ramifications could harm somebody, but there would be no need to compensate.

      Such as if I took your business without violating your terms of sevice. You lose, but it's not a cause of action.

      "illegal" means something is a violation of the law.

      Think about this the other way around.

      Some illegal things have no punishment due to official discretion. An officer sees you speeding, illegally, but they see your wife is in labor and you are rushing her to the hospital (not that it's necessary to rush, but this is an old trope). They escort you the rest of the way with lights and sirens rather than ticket you.

      In many places, no cop pulls people over for going 3 miles over. Or even 9 miles over. Discretion is used all the time.

      Did you commit an illegal act? Of course. There were no consequences, but the act is not legal.

      The same situation can occur. You can even write in fees for a contract breech for the cost of investigation, to see if there were resultant damages, leading to immediate damages inherently.

      Just because some lawyers repeatedly fail to follow their argument to its absurdity, doesn't make them correct.

      It may even make sense for clients to do those illegal acts to reduce their overall costs. That's why companies will murder others with e.g. toxic dumping if they know the costs to pay off a few people is less than their profits.

      In that case it's also illegal and also has negative penalties that are overall positive for the company.

      Do they have a fiduciary duty to do the illegal thing? Fiduciaries are actually constrained by the law, but they sometimes end up in a choice of two evils. In that case, fiduciaries have to decide what is the lesser evil. Lesser evilism is encoded in a number of statutes, and if they didn't they can be prosecuted for the worse evil.

      For example, use of force statutes will often let you make a choice to kill one person if you avoid the killing of two people and have no other choices. The trolley problem is written right into code (this has ramifications for e.g. driverless cars).

      Then that leads to the question if affirmative defenses successfully invoked make it so the original crime was "illegal." It's still illegal, but it's excused in the case of an affirmative defense. Some affirmative defenses are statutes of limitations. Does running from the law long enough to run out the clock make an action no longer illegal?

      Of course not. Kavanaugh's doing illegal behavior while drunk is still illegal, and the public understands this.

      This discussion is one reason why lawyers are losing a lot of trust today in our society. Many of them have no sense of duty or honor, and are just out to argue incoherent technicalities and some lawyers don't want to call something they can minimize penalties for as "illegal" because they want their clients to feel good about their dutiless behavior.

      To the rest of us, our word is our bond and we act in good faith.
      Oct 5, 2018
  • LinkedIn 🐓sucker
    How come a 12 reply-thread became a trending topic? Blind is manipulative as fuck
    Oct 4, 2018 1
    • Amazon / Eng n0v
      It's probably based on views, not comments.
      Oct 4, 2018
  • Amazon jTbN74
    What's ebay?
    Oct 4, 2018 3
    • Microsoft Biz Exec
      Just a bunch of first to market innovators. Not the copy cat types so not your tribe.....
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Pir ska11
      auctions and buying/selling was a concept ebay invented
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Amazon TCT snoop
      "Not the copy cat types", said Microsoft
      Oct 5, 2018
  • Lyft Yakn78
    eBay is done if they are crying to the government over this and saying Amazon broke the law.
    Oct 4, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Other

    Amazon Other

    Why the fuck do you think I would put any personal information in an anonymous chat app? You seem really confused, @blind
    You didn't see snap whining when Instagram stole their base.
    Oct 4, 2018 0
  • Amazon Amazon_O_G
    If true, it’s probably just a couple of folks in Sales in Amazon marketplace trying to make their quota in signing up sellers rather than something systemic that amazon is doing. Amazon Legal would freak out about this - there is no way that this is some type of corporate strategy.
    Oct 4, 2018 6
    • Amazon / Eng n0v
      Pot calling the kettle black. eBay and PayPal have been ripping off customers and sellers for years, with tactics that are questionable legally and morally.
      Oct 4, 2018
    • eBay XelR74
      You work for a company that competes against its own sellers... *drops mic
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Amazon Everyday
      *picks mic back up... I don’t understand why this is being framed negatively suddenly. If sellers can source wider selection or at better cost, isn’t that good for customers and competition?
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng n0v
      Competition isn't illegal or immoral. Fail.
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Pir ska11
      by that logic, every large store ever including walmart and costco competes with their own sellers.
      Oct 4, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng KHCr70
    The only thing I came away from this was:

    They can't detect phone numbers with dots in them?...
    Oct 4, 2018 0
  • Zulily AVXF18
    Haha!! Really
    Oct 4, 2018 0
  • Ebay is in tough shit. Not sure what lies ahead of them in terms of future. People who work there seems to take their work very lightly. I know that they pay very well, not sure why the workforce is not motivated.
    Oct 4, 2018 2
    • eBay / Eng Eatingthem
      I think it’s the stock price and search.
      Oct 4, 2018
    • Capital One / Eng desu
      The stock price isn't something that the engineers can do much about if they're being told to implement ideas that aren't doing much for their bottom line
      Oct 4, 2018
  • PayPal AllIsBinar
    Such a shitty thing to do by Amazon. But again life aint fair.
    Oct 4, 2018 0
  • General Motors 🍺o🍺
    Never realized Amazon is losing sleep over eBay!!
    Oct 4, 2018 0
  • StubHub GooGooDoll
    Mutha f.. Amazon - the new too big to fail
    Oct 4, 2018 1
    • Capital One cofisblind
      Eh, wish is growing at faster rates. Azure is growing at faster rates than aws as well. Amazon will take a healthy hit in the next recession, less than 1.5 years from now
      Oct 8, 2018
  • New / HR

    New HR

    Amazon, Facebook
    Airbnb used to use the same way on Craigslist and growing the users.
    Oct 4, 2018 1
    • Microsoft rXRl51
      Craigslist doesn’t monetize on advertising short term rentals.
      Oct 4, 2018
  • eBay Iclick
    Let the companies battle it out.I don’t think the allegations have any bearings on the outcome of who will survive in the e-commerce world.It’s just ethics and laws. I see lots of MSFT folks commenting. Isn’t yours built on stolen stuff to start with so chillax folks don’t get too emotional.
    Oct 6, 2018 0
  • Intuit / Eng

    Intuit Eng

    Cisco, Verizon, Oracle
    Either way both parties charge a high % commission to sell on their platform. Its time Facebook like companies ramp up their selling platform.
    Oct 4, 2018 0
  • Deloitte / Consultant

    Deloitte Consultant

    Deloitte, CDC
    Oct 4, 2018 0
  • Ebay is mad that Amazon is taking over everything. Boo hoo.
    Oct 4, 2018 0


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