eBay Looks to Lower Online Trade Barriers

Site asks members to petition for change to EU competition law.

by Auctiva.com staff writer
- Jul 07, 2009

While in the past, companies have been able to block their branded goods from being listed on eBay, the auction site is lobbying hard to prevent them from doing this in the future.

Some companies have used exaggerated or unfounded counterfeit claims to essentially monopolize their goods, according to eBay. To combat this practice, eBay U.K. is asking its users to sign an online petition that would ask European lawmakers to make it harder for some brands to block the sale of their goods. eBay notes that that less than 1 percent of the goods bought and sold on its site are counterfeit.

"Ultimately, what is at stake is the right of sellers to compete fairly in the wider online marketplace and the right of buyers to be able to access the best possible deals from the widest possible selection of goods," eBay reports. "The real aim of these brands is to block the sale of all their products on our site—regardless of whether such items are new or second-hand, genuine or fake."

Blocking goods from being posted on the site reduces competition, and allows brand owners to control the prices of their goods—a practice that is unfair to both sellers and buyers, eBay says.

"eBay was built on a simple idea: that we empower people by building a global platform, where practically anyone could buy or sell practically anything," the company says in an announcement on ebay.co.uk.

While eBay has made headlines in recent years because of legal battles with the makers of luxury goods, companies that manufacture everyday items have also been trying to keep their goods off the site, eBay says.

The company says it is "calling on the European Commission to amend EU competition law to stop these unfair practices."

eBay users must log into their accounts in order to sign the petition.

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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