A New Bill Could Make E-commerce Companies Liable for Counterfeits Sold on Their Platforms

A bipartisan group of lawmakers unveiled legislation Monday that would hold e-commerce companies like Amazon or eBay liable for counterfeit products sold on their platforms as US firms struggle to combat the sale of fake goods online.

The Shop Safe Act of 2020, co-sponsored by four House members, outlines a series of steps that e-commerce platforms must take to prevent the sale of knockoffs by third-party sellers on their platforms. E-commerce companies that fail to take these steps can be held liable for the sale of counterfeits, a move that would shift burden onto the internet marketplaces, according to a text of the bill obtained by CNBC.

“Consumer lives are at risk because of dangerous counterfeit products that are flooding the online marketplace,” Representative Doug Collins (R-Georgia) said in a statement. “Congress must create accountability to prevent these hazardous items from infiltrating the homes of millions of Americans.”

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The rise of e-commerce has contributed to a boom in shipments of counterfeit goods sold online. Fake goods accounted for 3.3% of global trade in 2016, according to the OECD. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported seizures… CNBC

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