The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has responded to a letter sent to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos by Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR), Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) and Commerce Republican Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) asking for details on Amazon’s policies to address the sale of counterfeit products and goods on their third-party marketplace platform.
The RILA letter signed by Michael Hanson, senior executive vice president, public affairs, states:
“While we appreciate your letter, the fact is, we do not expect Amazon or Mr. Bezos to be any more forthright in the answers to your written questions than he was while under oath before your colleagues. In fact, we strongly suspect Amazon will use this opportunity to further obfuscate and deceive Members and the public about their efforts to stop the sale of illicit products via its marketplace.
This is a problem that has festered unchecked for too long. The anonymity and unregulated environment in which Amazon’s marketplace operates allows it to sell products that would never be allowed on a store shelf or a retailer’s website—stolen goods, expired and defective products, products made with unsafe levels of chemical substances, and products that do not meet U.S. quality and safety standards. And despite the growing pile of evidence and obvious connection to its marketplace platform, Amazon has done very little to verify the products sold on their platform are legitimate; very little to verify the legitimacy of the sellers on their platform; and very little to aid retailers and law enforcement to identify fraudulent sellers on their platform.
Common-sense legislation has already been introduced which will require online marketplaces to collect and verify third party seller information and require disclosures from third-party marketplace sellers who use online platforms like Amazon.com to sell products to American consumers. The INFORM Consumers Act would provide consumers with greater transparency and allow law enforcement to better identify high-frequency sellers suspected of trafficking stolen and counterfeit goods. America’s leading retailers strongly endorse this legislation, and hope that you will add your names as cosponsors.”