eBay fined 32m for selling fake Louis Vuitton

Ebay has been ordered to pay French luxury goods company LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton £32m (€40m) for allowing the sale of counterfeit goods. The landmark victory took place in a French court today (June 30).

LVMH claimed in a Paris lawsuit that eBay, the world’s largest internet auctioneer, did not do enough to stop the sale of counterfeit goods and allowed the sale of genuine products outside their proper retail channels. LVMH argued eBay has a heightened responsibility to prevent fraud.

The decision came after a two-year process in Paris’s Tribunal de Commerce. The court said eBay had made “grave errors”.

The fine is split among LVMH brands with Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior Couture receiving the most at £15m and £13.7m respectively. The company’s fragrance brands, Parfums Christian Dior, Parfums Kenzo, Guerlain and Parfums Givenchy, were awarded around £2.5m.

Ebay was ordered to stop selling fragrances and cosmetics from those brands immediately, or face a fine of almost £40,000 per day. The court also instructed eBay to post the ruling on all its websites in English and in French for three weeks and to pay for it to be published in the publications of LVMH’s choice.

Ebay is to appeal the ruling and claims LVMH is attempting to “protect uncompetitive commercial practices at the expense of consumer choice and the livelihood of law-abiding sellers that eBay empowers every day”.

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