Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos jabs eBay in shareholder letter over third-party sales

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took a shot at eBay in his annual shareholder letter on Thursday, sending its e-commerce rival’s shares lowers and prompting a stern response from its CEO, Devin Wenig.

In the letter, Bezos argued that third-party sellers “do so much better selling on Amazon than they did on eBay” because of the tools Amazon has made available to them. In making his case, Bezos noted that from 1999 to 2018, Amazon’s third-party sales growth has significantly outpaced growth on eBay’s platform.

“Third-party sales have grown from $0.1 billion to $160 billion – a compound annual growth rate of 52%. To provide an external benchmark, eBay’s gross merchandise sales in that period have grown at a compound rate of 20%, from $2.8 billion to $95 billion,” Bezos wrote.

Bezos said third-party sellers have thrived on Amazon because it has offered them “the very best selling tools we could imagine and build,” including Fulfillment by Amazon and its Prime membership program.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AMZN AMAZON.COM INC. 186.13 -2.92 -1.54%
EBAY EBAY INC. 51.31 -0.58 -1.12%

Shares of eBay fell nearly 4% after the letter’s release. Wenig, the company’s CEO, fired back at Bezos on social media.

“While I appreciate the ink dedicated to @ebay from the CEO of the company not focused on competition, think I’ll dedicate my letter to customers, purpose and strategy. We don’t compete with our sellers. We don’t bundle endless services to create barriers to competition,” Wenig said on Twitter.


Bezos also roiled retail competitors by calling on them to match Amazon’s recent decision to boost the minimum wage for all of its workers to $15 per hour, writing that rivals who have yet to take a similar step “know who [they] are.” Walmart fired back at Bezos, aiming a barb at Amazon’s tax practices.