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In Europe, EBay Gains in Fights Over Fakes

In Europe, EBay Gains in Fights Over Fakes

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Pursuitist Luxury Best Luxury Blog

We support the luxury brands on this issue. It is about brand image — and fakes just clutter the brand experience.

Luxury companies’ attempts to control who sells their brands online in Europe are taking a hit. On Friday, eBay Inc. won its second victory this month as a U.K. court said the online marketplace wasn’t responsible for the sale of fake L’Oréal SA products on its Web site. Earlier in May, a French court also ruled in eBay’s favor over L’Oréal in a similar case. Of five suits that L’Oréal has brought against eBay over counterfeits in Europe, eBay has won three, with one decision pending. The latest ruling comes as European policy makers review the extent to which companies can restrict trade through their authorized dealers. Luxury companies including L’Oréal and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA have been feuding with e-commerce marketplaces such as eBay over whether the sites are responsible for people who sell fake and gray-market products on the Internet. – from WSJ

At stake for luxury companies is a carefully nurtured reputation for quality and exclusivity, which helps justify the high prices they charge. EBay argues that the European lawsuits about counterfeits are just a way for the luxury companies to control who sells their products and at what price.