Angie’s List sued Amazon Local and its employees this month, accusing them of stealing proprietary information and violating its membership agreement. Both services offer a way for consumers to connect to local businesses and service providers – think plumbers and rug cleaners, for example – though there are differences between the two companies, including age. Angie’s List started 20 years ago, while Amazon began testing its marketplace for local services last year.
In a recent press release announcing its 20th anniversary, Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List, said, “Over the years, Angie’s List has built on its platform of trusted reviews, using that wealth of information to dramatically expand service offerings and value while staying true to its mission to deliver the best possible outcomes for consumers.”
In its complaint, the company alleges that, “In lieu of going “professional to professional to find (reputable service providers),” Amazon Local has instead chosen to steal critical information from Angie’s List.” Clearly it’s frustrating for Angie’s List to think Amazon can come along and take advantage of 20 years of hard work.
It stated, “The Angie’s List Membership Agreement expressly prohibits “access(ing) any Content for any commercial, educational or other purposes not related to (the member’s) personal purchasing decision,” and accused Amazon Local employees of using its site to directly contact service providers and to solicit those service providers to do business with Amazon Local.
When asked for comment, Amazon spokesperson Erik Fairleigh said “we don’t comment on active litigation.”
Interestingly, eBay has been trying to develop a marketplace for services since at least as far back as 2007.
CourtHouseNews.com has more information and wrote, “Angie’s List seeks an injunction, delivery of all the Angie’s List information the attendants allegedly stole, liquidated damages, treble damages and punitive damages for the charges listed above and breach of contract, unfair competition, and violation of the Stored Communications Act.”