L'Oreal sues eBay over counterfeit goods
Says tat bazaar is not doing enough
eBay is being sued across Europe by the world's biggest cosmetics firm for not trying hard enough to battle counterfeiting. L'Oreal is taking the action in five European countries, including the UK.
The cosmetics giant claims that eBay is profiting from the sale of counterfeit goods and is not doing enough to combat fakes. eBay has argued in the past that it always acts in such cases when notified of the sale of counterfeits.
"eBay is not a victim because it gets a cut from each transaction and advertisement, real or fake," said L'Oreal's head of anti-counterfeiting, Xavier Herfroy, according to French newspaper Liberation. The paper said that L'Oreal had estimated the cost to the company of the sale of counterfeit goods ran into millions of euros.
A spokeswoman for eBay France said that the two companies had been in negotiations since May of this year about the issue, but that the companies could not reach an agreement and that L'Oreal's demands were unreasonable, according to news agency Associated Press.
Action has been taken in France, the UK, Germany, Spain and Belgium over cosmetics that are sold under brands such as Lancôme, Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren.
The issue of fake goods for sale on eBay is not a new one. Luxury goods group Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy and iconic jeweller Tiffany's have both taken action against the online auction site over similar claims.
The online auction of fake goods mirrors an explosion in their sale offline as well. The French Government this week seized almost 13,000 handbags and leather goods which were copies of luxury items that it said were worth €12m. It said that French customs officers had seized €224m worth of fake products in the first half of this year.
French businesses and employees have been particularly active in protecting trademarks and battling fake goods. Industrial lobby group the Union of Manufacturers in France filed a lawsuit last year against eBay seeking compensation for its members because of the availability of fakes on the auction site.
"We think eBay is perfectly capable of policing its site, but they offer to take action only after the fact. They refuse to act pre-emptively," Unifab chairman Marc Antoine Jamet told Reuters last year. "We think they have the IT to manage their sites, to track bank accounts and ownership."
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Ebay. Honesty optional
Having had the brain meltingly annoying experience of trying to get ebay to remove a fraudulent action (that was in competition with my item) this week, I can see why L'Oreal might be annoyed with them.
I reported the auction on three occations. Outlining exactly why the item wasn't what it pruported to be. Ebay let the dodgy auction finish (with a successful bid) and then told me they wouldn't refund my listing fee despite my auction suffering from being in competion with a much cheaper (albeit dodgy) item (Both items were supposed to be the same, and were described as such - but only mine was the real deal)
It appears Ebay are really good at excuses and really bad at protecting it's customers from fraud. Even when they know about it.
I'm not a fan of L'Oreal, but I'm really hoping Ebay get a bloody nose and are called to account for their utter disdain for details like honesty and duties of care.
"You're also annoying people who search specifically for PRS in the title. Such a search should find only genuine PRS items."
Which is WHY when listing guitars, you can drill it down by the make.... so if you search for PRS, click Electric Guitar -> 6 String -> PRS for example.
Titles are not as accurate as the above method. At least then you will find exactly what you are looking for.
L'oreal Sues eBAy
In the U.S., the telcos can't be sued because they fail to prevent scammers and obscene callers from using the phones to violate the laws.
In the U.S., the genuine handbag sellers don't sue the owner of the property the fake store is renting/occupying because the property owner failed to make sure the seller was selling only the real thing.
So it seems to me that eBay has a good defense against this suit. That's not to say that I'm defending eBay. They have got me P.O'd a number of times because they let scumbag sellers do their selling in blatant violation of the AUP. But I fully understand that with a few million transactions in hours or days, it's gonna be difficult to police even a small fraction of the sellers for violating the AUP. It's like the Real World: there's just not enough cops and jails to keep the lowlife from violating the laws.