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Amazon seller sues Amazon, Apple over deleted listings

A third-party retailer alleges the companies shut down its listings because the Apple accessories it sold were priced too low.

Hard 2 Find's website is powered by Amazon. Screenshot by Donna Tam

An independent electronics accessories retailer is suing tech giants Amazon and Apple on a multitude of allegations that include stopping the company from selling Apple's products on Amazon's site because it offers a low price.

The company, called Hard 2 Find Accessories, alleges that Amazon wrongly took down its product listings at Apple's behest and suspended the seller's account, effectively shutting down its business, according to court documents (See PDF below). The company, which filed the suit last week, said it's losing more than $180,000 a month due to Amazon's actions and it wants Amazon and Apple to pay up.

According to the lawsuit, Apple initially requested that Amazon take the listings down because it believed the products were counterfeit, which Hard 2 Find contests. The company's complaint called the alleged action "anti-competitive" and "conspiratory."

An Amazon spokesman said the company does not publicly discuss active litigation or individual seller accounts. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Amazon has always had a love-hate relationship with sellers, thanks to e-commerce giant's practice of competing with its own sellers, but this company is accusing the Seattle company of colluding with Apple.

"Apple and Amazon have engaged in conspiratory and/or concerted action that involves Apple monitoring Amazon's sellers (like H2F) for selling items at an 'aggressive price point'," the document reads.

Hard 2 Find Accessories' lengthy explanation of the timeline of events included allegations of Amazon withholding payments for an extended amount of time and not conducting a "thorough investigation" of Apple's complaint before acting. The suit also accuses Apple of defamation for calling Hard 2 Find's products counterfeit.

Hard 2 Find complaint