Feeds

Wal-Mart busts Amazon in ‘espionage’ case

The trad retail giant says the e-commerce guys have been playing fast and loose with its systems

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

US retail giant Wal-Mart is suing Amazon and another Internet sales operation, Drugstore.com, claiming theft of trade secrets. Remarkably, the highly traditional low-cost chain founded by Sam Walton is suing on the grounds that it thinks the e-commerce outfits have been trying to swipe the secrets of its computer systems. But there are clear grounds for Wal-Mart to be suspicious. The company says about 15 staff have been hired away from it, and that these are people with knowledge of its Retailink system, which is used to monitor purchases in Wall-Mart stores and then feed the data back to suppliers. And although Wal-Mart looks conservative, its logistical and inventory computer systems are among the best in the business. This is one of the logistical and reporting areas that online vendors are going to have to crack if they're going to first duplicate and then supplant the services provided by conventional store chains. The Wall-Mart suit also refers to Silicon Valley VC outfit Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which funded the two companies from start-up and was involved in drawing up their business plans. So will the darlings of the Valley come out of this smelling of ordure? One of Wal-Mart's key questions is how come the glossy Californians have been hiring people from its HQ, which is in somewhat less glossy Arkansas. Obviously the answer is because they knew about and were good at the kinds of systems the companies needed to put in place. The question will be, did they know too much? ® Click for more stories

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.