eBay Petitions EU Over Brand Rules

    September 17, 2009

eBay called on the European Union today to amend an EU competition law to stop brands from restricting the sale of their products on the Internet.

The company has given a petition to the European Parliament, signed by 750,000 Europeans’ calling for reform.

Mary Honeyball, European Parliament, London
Mary Honeyball
European Parliament,

eBay has been embroiled in a number of lawsuits in recent years involving luxury brands such as Tiffany and LVMH over the sale of counterfeit goods on the site. The luxury brands have charged that eBay has not done enough to keep counterfeit brands off its site.

eBay has argued for greater clarity and support for cross-border Internet sales, increased consumer choice and non-discrimination in the way that online and offline channels are treated for distribution purposes.

"eBay was built on a simple idea – that it could empower individuals by building a global marketplace where practically anyone could buy or sell practically anything," said Alex von Schirmeister, Director General, eBay.

In total, 752,605 eBay users in Europe have signed the petition so far, which was launched in July. Signatories include over 250,000 consumers from the U.K., more than 200,000 from Germany and over 100,000 from France.

The signatories support eBay’s position that brands should "not be allowed to impose blanket bans on Internet selling, or keep online prices artificially high.

"In these tough economic times European customers and businesses need to be free to buy and sell all products at the most competitive market rates available," said Mary Honeyball, Member of the European Parliament for London.

The Internet provides a way for us to do this, by creating equal access to goods and services across Europe. So I support eBay’s call to change outdated European competition laws this autumn and enable online retailers to sell all goods no matter whether they originate from Asda, Apple or Armani."