June 30, 2008 - Following the ruling by the Tribunal de Commerce in Paris, France on June 30 2008 in relation to a suit by LVMH the French luxury goods manufacturer, eBay Inc. (Nasdaq EBAY) issued the following statement:
“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 believe that this ruling represents a loss not only for us but for consumers and small businesses selling online, therefore we will appeal. It is clear that eBay has become a focal point for certain brand owners’ desire to exact ever greater control over e-commerce. We view these decisions as a step backwards for the consumers and businesses whom we empower everyday.
We believe that the overreach manifests itself through an attempt to impose, in France, a business model that restricts consumer choice through an anti-competitive business practice.
The ruling also seeks to impact the sale of second-hand goods as well as new genuine products, effectively reaching into homes and rolling back the clock on the Internet and liberty it has created. The attempt to use the ruling to confuse the separate issues of counterfeit and restrictive sales suggests that counterfeit suits are being used by certain brand owners as a stalking-horse issue to reinforce their control over the market.
eBay does more and more to combat counterfeit. We invest more than $20 million each year to ensure counterfeit goods are found and removed. We partner with over 18,000 brand owners around the world to identify and successfully remove counterfeit goods and employ over 2,000 people to carry out this fight on a daily basis. When we find counterfeit goods on our sites we take it down.
Overzealous enforcement of restrictive sales practices are anti-competitive and give consumers a bad deal. This is recognised by European Union policy-makers who are seeking to create a better framework for online sales to promote e-commerce in Europe. We support a free and fair market in Europe and the benefits this will bring for our sellers.
eBay will continue to fight against counterfeit and continue to fight for consumer value through the promotion of e-commerce.”
FACTS AND STATS
- We work closely with 18,000 Rights Owners to ensure that any suspected counterfeit listings are removed from the site before anyone is able to purchase them – virtually 100% of every listing reported to us through this programme is removed – 90% of which are removed within 4 hours and before anyone is able to purchase them
- We invest over £10m per year in keeping counterfeits off our site
- In 2007, we removed 2.2m potentially counterfeit listings from the eBay site
- In 2007, we suspended 50,000 sellers from our site who we believe were attempting to sell suspected counterfeit goods
- In 2007, we trained 7,000 law enforcement officials and assisted in over 66,000 investigations and in the arrest or conviction of over 500 individuals