eBay Fined $61 Million By French Court

Plans to appeal

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A Paris court has ordered eBay to pay $61 million (38.6 million euros) to luxury goods designer LVMH for allowing counterfeit merchandise to be sold on the auction site.

The decision comes about a month after a French court ordered eBay to pay $30,000 to luxury goods maker Hermes for its role in the sale of fake handbags.

eBay said it will appeal the latest decision. "We believe that this ruling represents a loss not only for us but for consumers and small businesses selling online, therefore we will appeal," the company said in a statement. "It is clear that eBay has become a focal point for certain brand owners’ desire to exact ever greater control over e-commerce."

eBay says that LVMH’s suit is not about bogus items being sold on the site. "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," the company said.

LVMH asked for 50 million euros in damages, arguing that eBay had not done enough to prohibit the sales of counterfeit products.

The ruling decided separate cases by a number of different LVMH brands including Dior Couture, perfume brands Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy and Kenzo.

eBay was sued by jewelers Tiffany last year which accused the site of allowing the sales of counterfeit merchandise and it is involved in a suit from L’Oreal over the sale of fake perfume on the site.

eBay says it invests more than $20 million annually to flag and remove counterfeit goods from the site.

eBay Fined $61 Million By French Court
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