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Online Giants Battle Retailers Over Effort to Combat Counterfeit Goods

A proposal to curtail counterfeit and stolen goods being sold on the web provoked a pitched battle on Capitol Hill, with manufacturers and brick-and-mortar retailers squaring off with marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.

The high-powered lobbying fight is over a measure (S.936) that would require third-party marketplaces — internet platforms that connect sellers to buyers — to verify the identity and provide transparency about high-volume sellers. They’re defined as those who sell more than 200 new items in a year, earning them a total of $5,000 or more.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), would require web-based marketplaces to collect information from sellers, including their government ID, bank information, and contact information, and compel the disclosure of certain information for buyers. A number of states have moved to enact similar pieces of legislation, including Arkansas, where Walmart is headquartered…  Bloomberg Government

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