Amazon Kindle case designer M-Edge has filed a lawsuit against Amazon for what they claim is anti-competitive attempts to silence a rival.
The company claims in the filing that Amazon used unfair competition and false advertising along with “interfering with customers” and violating a case design patent.
Under the lawsuit M-Case says Amazon breached a three-year contract when they asked for a 15 percent cut in November 2009 then two months later hiked that rate to 32 percent while threatening to pull the product if M-Edge refused the deal.
M-Edge held out until May when Amazon said they would “retaliate” against the company by “playing” with search results, effectively hiding the company’s top-selling product while still technically keeping the product on the website.
In a further anti-competitive move Amazon is believed to have purposefully kept M-Case out of approva Kindle accessory designer lists to bury results and then lied about M-Case products being out of stock to slow sales.
M-Case says they eventually swallowed $6.5 million in reduced sales at the risk of losing all their business.
The case manufacturer has also claimed in their filing that Amazon violated a patent they own which in turn gave Amazon motive to shut down a direct competitor.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has been accused of acting as a bait-and-switch pricing partner, during their free App giveaway for Android developers they promised to pay for apps downloaded through the Amazon Appstore but later renegged on that promise.
Amazon is not currently commenting on any pending accusations or the lawsuit filed by M-Case.
Are you surprised to learn that Amazon is choosing to treat it’s third-party sellers and developers like second-class citizens?