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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Filed Under: competition, online auctions, politics, retail stores


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  • identicon
    another mike, 29 Jul 2008 @ 2:55pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Jul 2008 @ 3:17pm

    It was years ago that I first saw a report that it's employees who account for a high percentage of shoplifting. And they don't do it to resell! Items were generally stolen for personal use or as a gift.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    kiba, 29 Jul 2008 @ 3:32pm

    History repeat Itself

    Oh god...this is like the repeat of big publishers wanting copyright for foreign authors because they couldn't compete with smaller, newer publishers who can reach larger audiences.

    Damn rent-seekers.


    History repeat itself again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Jul 2008 @ 5:31pm

    Hold on a sec ....
    Business using bogus data to create an unfair advantage ????
    I'm shocked !

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Thomas, 29 Jul 2008 @ 7:36pm

    Why get the government involve?

    If the big guys pay their clients (congresspeople) enough they can probably get the legislation passed. We have the best government (for business) money can buy. Whatever happened to businesses that they think the government should do everything for them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ben Smith, 30 Jul 2008 @ 6:05am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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