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Amazon Gets Served in Seller Lawsuit

The attorney representing online merchant Hard 2 Find Accessories Inc. (H2F) in a lawsuit against Amazon and Apple told EcommerceBytes the two companies were served on July 3rd, and the next step is up to them. Matthew Crotty of Crotty & Son Law Firm confirmed that the seller had included an antitrust claim, among others, in the complaint, and said Apple and Amazon would likely either answer the complaint or would move to dismiss it.

Hard 2 Find Accessories filed the lawsuit against the companies after Amazon suspended his account due to takedown notices filed by Apple. The merchant claims Apple made the reports to Amazon in error and alleges that on August 20, 2013, Apple told him the two reasons it had filed the infringement complaint with Amazon were (1) H2F’s association of the iPad covers with a “troublesome ASIN” and (2) H2F’s “aggressive price point.”

EcommerceBytes reached out to the seller to learn what made him decide to file the lawsuit. Crotty responded on his client’s behalf, telling EcommerceBytes that in his client’s dealings with Amazon, the analogy of a schoolyard bully applied.

You have a big company that destroyed the merchant’s business, he said, based on an inaccurate report from Apple. Amazon told his client they would reinstate him if Apple got back to it, and includes the text of the letter in the lawsuit. Apple, without using the words that it had made a mistake, in effect conceded that point, according to Crotty, and at that point, Amazon changed its tune, refusing to lift the suspension for other reasons.

The frustration of dealing with that led to the lawsuit. “This involves people’s lives, livelihood and families,” he said – Amazon has not given his client a fair shot, and the marketplace did not conduct a good faith investigation in suspending the account, he alleged.

“There are significant damages,” Crotty said.

More information about the lawsuit is available in this Newsflash story.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.