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January 20, 2020

Amazon doubles down on tackling fakes issue?

Amazon.com is doubling down on efforts to tackle fakes listed on its e-commerce site and is reportedly set to ramp up the data it gives to law enforcement.

By Hannah Abdulla

Amazon.com is doubling down on efforts to tackle fakes listed on its e-commerce site and is reportedly set to ramp up the data it gives to law enforcement.

According to Reuters, citing someone familiar with the matter, the retailer plans to disclose merchant information to European and US federal authorities every time it confirms a counterfeit is sold to customers, increasing the frequency and volume of reporting to law enforcement.

Previously it has informed authorities of counterfeit sellers when it believed it had enough information for police to pursue the matter.

In recent weeks, Amazon has held meetings with government authorities and related organisations to discuss its new counterfeit reporting strategy and how the company can further its enforcement efforts, the person said. According to the source, Amazon will report a merchant’s name, company name, product and contact information to authorities, after it confirms a business was selling fakes, closes the seller’s account, and the account holder does not make a successful appeal via Amazon’s typical processes.

According to the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), clothing and footwear are among the top five most highly pirated goods. In October last year, US border police seized over US$22m in fake Nike shoes.

US President Donald Trump has vowed to combat the entry of fake goods into the country – especially via online marketplaces. A White House official notice suggested the value of global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods may rise to half a trillion dollars annually, with about 20% of this trade infringing upon US intellectual property. 

The apparel and footwear industry has been particularly vocal about its concerns about how Amazon handles counterfeits and intellectual property infringement.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)  has previously called for the retail giant’s sites in France and India to be added to the Notorious Markets list. And several major brands including Nike and Vibram have taken steps to de-list their products from the sites as they look to trade directly with customers and move away from third-party sellers.

Amazon did not return just-style’s request for comment. 

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