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Online’s Booming Counterfeit Business Raises the Risk That Regulators Will Crack Down

Anyone charged with protecting Amazon’s image is having a tough month. On November 11, The Wall Street Journal wrote that the company’s website “increasingly resembles an unruly online flea market,” which probably isn’t the look that a company valued at more than $860 billion is trying to achieve. The Journal linked a surge in fakes and dangerous goods being sold via Amazon to its recruitment of Chinese sellers who were encouraged to post their goods directly rather than going through North American middlemen who generally vet the products.

The next day, Nike announced that it would no longer sell its products on Amazon because of counterfeiting. And before the week was over, The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon’s founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, published a follow-up on the Journal article headlined, “How Amazon’s quest for more, cheaper products has resulted in a flea market of fakes.”

A bad reputation would worry most retailers. But Amazon isn’t most retailers. If it were worried that counterfeits were hurting business, then it wouldn’t make it easier for sellers to join its platform, as it’s still doing… NBC News

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