EBay Loses Big French Lawsuit
Big news in the lawsuit between Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) and eBay. Today in Paris, a French court ruled that eBay was responsible for counterfeit items sold on the site and for selling genuine products outside of authorized channels. The court ordered eBay to pay around 40 million euros, which works out to approximately. $63.2 million. Louis Vuitton was awarded 19.3 million euros, Christian Dior Couture will get 17.4 million euros and Parfums Christian Dior, Parfums Kenzo, Guerlain and Parfums Givenchy is to receive around 3 million euros. The auction website has also been ordered to stop selling fragrances and cosmetics from those brands immediately, or face more fines.
EBay has already said they will appeal the ruling. The case is just one of several against eBay. The company recently lost a battle with Hermes over counterfeit bags. EBay maintains that they remove counterfeit items from the site when they are made aware of them but the brands believe eBay doesn't do a good enough job in policing sellers. EBay has asserted that they are a host in the selling process and therefore not responsible but a statement from LVMH counters that saying that eBay is not a host but is instead a broker for these goods and therefore responsible not just for counterfeits but for the all the branded goods that are sold through eBay. If eBay decides to crack down on sellers this could have a tremendous impact on the way the site, and its users, do business.