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eBay Fined Again Over Fake Goods

You can find almost anything on eBay. Unfortunately, when it comes to designer goods, a percentage of what you can find on the auction site is counterfeit. It’s angered the manufacturers of luxury goods, who’ve found their names undermined by the fakes.

That’s why luxury goods group LVMH took eBay to court in France, asserting the site hadn’t done enough to stem the sale of fakes on its French site.

The suit was brought by six companies who belong to LVMH, including four perfume makes, who accused eBay of “illicit sales” of their brands. They extended the action beyond fakes, according to the BBC, arguing that even sales of their real perfumes were illegal as only specialist dealers were allowed to retail them.

Yesterday the court handed down its result, ordering eBay to pay a massive $63 million for allowing counterfeit sales on its site – and it also ordered eBay to stop selling Dior, Guerlain, Kenzo and Givenchy perfumes.

eBay spokeswoman Vanessa Canzini said:

"If counterfeits appear on our sites, we take them down swiftly, but today’s ruling is not about our fight against counterfeit. Today’s ruling is about an attempt by LVMH to protect uncompetitive commercial practices at the expense of consumer choice and the livelihood of law-abiding sellers that eBay empowers everyday. We will fight this ruling on their behalf; we will be seeking leave to appeal.”

This is the second time in less than a month that eBay has had to pay for letting counterfeit items be sold on the site; earlier this month Hermes won a suit against the auction giant. Taken together, these rulings could mean that eBay will have to seriously rethink its business model.

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