French Court Slaps eBay With $63M Judgment

    June 30, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Auctions of fake Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH) goods that a French tribunal believed eBay should have prevented resulted in a verdict against the online marketplace.

Items like coveted Louis Vuitton bags show up in counterfeit versions around the world. The fight by luxury brand manufacturers like LVMH to stop them brought the company in conflict with eBay.

Although eBay regularly takes down counterfeit items and works with many big brand companies, the Tribunal de Commerce in Paris decided the company didn’t do enough. E-Commerce Times said the French court ordered a $63 million judgment against eBay for not doing enough to keep LVMH brand products out of its listings.

A furious eBay vowed to fight the 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. 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.

France has proven a pain to eBay, with the company losing a suit to Hermes recently, as well as an action by a group of auction houses that consider eBay a vehicle for stolen goods, the report said.