A couple of Amazon’s foreign websites have been included in the U.S government’s annual “notorious markets” list on the grounds that they host some counterfeit goods.
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) office released its 2020 review of notorious markets on Thursday. The list identifies e-commerce sites and companies that are believed to be facilitating the sale of counterfeit goods, engaging in intellectual property violations, or piracy.
Amazon sites of the countries like the U.K., Germany, Spain, France, and Italy were included in the report. Those who had complained alleged that Amazon’s counterfeit removal process is slow, even for companies that are enrolled in its brand protection programs. They also claimed that Amazon doesn’t do a thorough examination of third-party sellers on its marketplace or make it clear to brands and consumers “who are selling the goods.”
Amazon argued against the trade representative’s report, which didn’t include Amazon’s U.S. site, and pointed to its extensive programs and tools that are designed to stop counterfeiters.
However, Amazon believes that the report issued is some kind of personal vendetta against the company and nothing more than a desperate stunt in the final days of this administration. “Amazon does more to fight counterfeit than any other private entity we are aware of.” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC in a statement.
Representatives from the USTR didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly been careful of Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos throughout his four-year time period. Bezos owns The Washington Post, which Trump has criticized for its unfavorable protection of his administration. Amazon has also claimed it did not win a Pentagon cloud-computing contract, which might be valuable as a lot as $10 billion, as a result of assaults from Trump in opposition to the corporate and Bezos.
The amazon sites were added for the first time to the USTR list in 2019. In that year itself, the company started mentioning counterfeit products as a risk factor in its annual filing. Apart from Amazon, other companies named on the list include the Chinese e-commerce site Pinduoduo, South American e-commerce company Mercadolibre, and file-sharing site The Pirate Bay.
Amazon as an action against the allegation has upgraded its efforts to curtail counterfeits as the third-party marketplace has grown. The marketplace now accounts for more than half of the company’s overall sales and hosts millions of third-party merchants.
The company has pursued counterfeiters in court, rolled out various programs to seek and detect sales of counterfeit goods, and in June launched the Counterfeit Crimes Unit, made up of former federal prosecutors, investigators, and data analysts, to mine the site for fraudulent activity.
As a result of these and other efforts, 99.9% of pages viewed by customers on the site have never had a valid report of counterfeit, the spokesperson said.