Amazon To Funnel Fake Product Data To Authorities

Amazon is cracking down on the sale of counterfeit goods, saying it will now cooperate more intensely with law enforcement on those matters.

According to a source who spoke to Reuters, the worldwide eCommerce retailer will now report counterfeit goods directly to U.S. and European law enforcement whenever it can confirm that a fake item was sold to a customer through the site. The frequency and volume of Amazon’s contact with law enforcement over those matters will increase, the unnamed source noted.

In the past, Amazon only contacted law enforcement about counterfeit sellers when it was sure it had enough information to warrant such action. Now, the company will be much more vigilant. The source said Amazon will report merchant and company name, as well as product and contact information, to authorities, but only after confirming that fake items are being sold, closing the seller’s account and giving them time to appeal.

Amazon has been criticized before for its sometimes-underwhelming capability of dealing with fakes. Last year, it came under fire for giving the "Amazon’s Choice" badge to items that could be considered questionable, including illegitimate knock-offs.

In the past, large companies like Apple and Nike have been frustrated with counterfeit versions of their own products on the retailer’s site. Some brands have been discouraged from selling on Amazon at all because of it. In 2018, though, Amazon struck a deal with Apple, agreeing to rid its site of all products not authorized to be sold by Apple.

Amazon has also sued counterfeit sellers, and introduced a counterfeit removal tool for official brands even though that goes against its objective of selling as many things as possible.

In the last few weeks, the company has met with officials to speak about its enforcement efforts, and address any issues. The hope is that Amazon’s wide net will help law enforcement make connections about criminals.



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