Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
auctions, fines, france, liability, trademarks, users

Companies:
ebay, lvmh



French Courts Continue To Penalize eBay For Actions Of Users

from the bad-news dept

While more and more courts seem to be understanding that eBay shouldn't be responsible for what users are selling on its site, it appears that French courts are a bit confused. Last year, a French court fined eBay $63 million because counterfeit LVMH products were being sold on the site. Of course, eBay has no way of knowing what's legit and what's not, but the French court didn't seem to care. A similar case, also involving LVMH, but concerning Google ads, was also ruled in LVMH's favor, but it was appealed to the European Court of Justice, and a judge there has already indicated that it makes little sense to blame the company. But that isn't stopping the French courts. eBay has now been fined yet again, because of a French ban on selling even legally purchased brands of LVMH perfumes if you're not an authorized distributor. eBay is appealing the ruling, saying that banning the resale of legally purchased goods doesn't make sense and harms consumers. However, a much bigger question is why eBay should be liable at all. It's not eBay doing the selling, but users on the site.

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  1. icon
    logicologist (profile), 30 Nov 2009 @ 7:36pm

    ebay in France

    If the situation was taking place on ebay.com then they wouldn't have much authority. They could ban ebay.com from the French market but not much else. It is ebay.fr that is in question. (my thoughts)

    France is jealous of anything American and of prominence. So the story is not surprising.

    I used the 'gray market' for several years in the computer industry. It simply is a result of price breaks given by a manufacture to companies that buy in bulk. To shut this market down would damage or end this pricing practice which is not democratic. Can you imagine Airbus not being able to give price breaks to British Airways to help entice larger orders?

    "Here, they are trying to do the same to stop eBay selling cheap stuff." ... ebay sells nothing. You even cut-n-pasted that as explained in the article. ?? Users of their site do the selling. The "related case" is not relevant.

    The case will be overturned and I think ebay should make a stink and shut down ebay.fr and see if the French government feels a backlash? Show them that they can play games too.

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