Retail Chains May Get Congress To Regulate Auction Sites Using Bogus Claims

from the amazing dept

Back in June, we noted that the Retail Industry Leaders Association, a lobbying group representing big store retailers was pushing Congress to start regulating online auction sites, claiming that they were experiencing a huge crimewave from thieves who would resell the goods on sites like eBay. Reader crystalattice points out that some Congressional Reps have put forth just such a piece of legislation, and now the press is parroting the claims that this huge crimewave exists, when the evidence suggests exactly the opposite. Shoplifting is actually decreasing, while insiders (employees) stealing goods is on the rise. The problem is often that stores simply don’t police themselves well.

So, this isn’t at all about stopping this supposed crimewave. It’s a way for offline retailers to try to hurt the competition by adding some ridiculous liability to them — somehow making them liable for the actions of users selling “stolen” goods on their sites. This is a blatant anti-competitive move that is using dubious claims to support the case. Hopefully the press and other politicians won’t fall for it.

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Comments on “Retail Chains May Get Congress To Regulate Auction Sites Using Bogus Claims”

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another mike says:

insider threat

Regardless of your industry, IT or retail or anywhere, the person who already knows your procedures and is given access is in the best position to completely hose you.
Anyway, this is definitely an attempt to trip up the competition with needless overhead. The retail center in my podunk little town (the Wal-Mart) is literally right next door to a payday loan check casher and pawn shop. Its much easier to just rip off the price tag and walk next door than manage an online auction account and reputation.

Ben Smith says:

Who voted FOR this bill?

I love Techdirt polls. They always follow an article demonstrating just how ignorant and corrupt our legislators are, and clearly explaining why the bill or law in question is patently ridiculous… yet there’s always some tiny percentage of the vote FOR the offensive bill in question.

I’d love to know who the 7% (currently) are who think this absurd law actually makes sense. How many lobbyists read this blog, and vote in the polls?

The lack of critical thought among our lawmakers makes me sick.

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