eBay fined record amount in Europe

A French court ruled yesterday that eBay would have to pay €40 million in damages to the luxury fashion group LVMH for allowing the sale of counterfeit goods, lipsticks and perfumes on the auction website.

The fine is the largest that eBay have faced in Europe, although the company has faced opposition from many large fashion and cosmetic brands. Last month a French court ordered eBay to pay €20,000 to Hermes following the sale of anti counterfeit handbags.

LVMH does not only dispute the sale of anti-counterfeit goods on the auction site, but also the sale of real items which the group claim violates their distribution network, which only allows the sale of such items to specialist authorised dealers. If eBay continues to sell and advertise these goods then they face a fine of €50,000 per day.

The decision of the court is being appealed by eBay.  An eBay spokeswoman stated that the "decision does not relate to the fight against counterfeiting.  It is about LVMH's wish to protect commenrcial practices that exclude all competition".

Since 2006, eBay has spent $20 million trying to stop the site becoming bombarded with counterfeit products, by working with brand owners and using programmes which can analyse suspicious sales.

At Cerberus we work with a number of brands who are facing similar problems on eBay. We have a registered VERO account which allows us to take down infringing items from eBay as and when they appear. We offer eBay monitoring services to our clients and if this is something you would be interested in learning more about then please contact us at Cameron@cerberusip.com