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French court slams eBay with €1.7M fine over LVMH product resale dispute

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[France] A commercial court in Paris has fined eBay €1.7 million euros (roughly £1.6 million) for allegedly not sticking to an injunction banning users from selling on products of luxury goods conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH in short).

Allowing the LVMH perfumes and cosmetics to be purchased by Frenchmen on its French and UK website according to the ruling violated a prior court order to remove all such postings (June 2008), part of a €38 million verdict saying eBay had not done enough to stop the sale of counterfeited LVMH items.

The Parisian court today issued a further fine against eBay after it was revealed that apparently more than 1,300 LVMH items have been posted to the auction site since the injunction was issued.

Ebay, which has since the 2008 ruling implemented software to filter its listings in order to prevent French users from accessing LVMH-branded items (even if they are unused and authentic), has evidently contested the ruling.

Alex Von Schiermeister, director of eBay Europe, said the fine was “disproportionate” given that the company had effectively complied with the injunction.

Its appeal will be heard in May 2010.

  • Monday: eBay Fined, Black Friday on Canal Street, Google Adsense Suit « Knockoff Report

    […] PDRTJS_settings_373462_post_2047 = { "id" : "373462", "unique_id" : "wp-post-2047", "title" : "Monday%3A+eBay+Fined%2C+Black+Friday+on+Canal+Street%2C+Google+Adsense+Suit", "item_id" : "_post_2047", "permalink" : "" } French court slams eBay with €1.7M fine over LVMH product resale dispute […]

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    Big corporations make big mistakes ??

    • JeanPhilippe

      What mistakes ?
      Trying to fight counterfeiting and control who will distribute and channel your products are mistakes for you ?

      • Slate

        Please explain the logic behind a company being able to control what happens to its products AFTER they have been legally purchased? Kind of creepy, n’est-ce pas?

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but in this case these are legitimate LVMH products which are now legally owned by OTHER PEOPLE.

        If we are going to punish the marketplace that allowed these transactions, maybe LVMH should sue the city of Paris “for not doing enough to control” the sale of counterfeit products on the Champs Elysées.

        Doesn’t surprise me that a Parisian judge ruled against a foreign company.

      • JeanPhilippe

        “Please explain the logic behind a company being able to control what happens to its products AFTER they have been legally purchased? Kind of creepy, n’est-ce pas?”

        Correct this is what Ebay stated.

        But the fine is because of the 2008 judgment:
        “serious misconduct by failing in its obligations to ensure that its activities do not generate illegal acts”

        A judge enforced this ruling based of products found on Ebay, LVMH was able to produce the proof that 1341 perfumes were sold, while the origin could not be traced to be legal.
        and LVMH keep saying that ebay is still allowing counterfeiting products.

        This is the same 2008 judgment, nothing new, and yes I think a brand have the right to choose who control, distribute and channel products.

  • FitJerk Fitness Blog

    LAME! If it’s not ebay, it’s gona be some other site. Tired of these a*ses trying to control everything.

  • Cos

    Ebay was packed with fake LVs so I guess they’re getting rid of fakes on ebay while increasing “prestige” because not even originals are sold on the site….
    Kinda what neiman marcus does with accepting only AMEX.

    Ultimately France needs to deal with the street vendors that sell fakes throughout Paris…I mean seriously sometimes it’s like NYC

  • Trikal

    Seems that are big corporations are getting onto courts too much these day. Is it the end of ethics?

  • Multan a eBay por vender productos ilegalmente | MuyInternet

    […] Por su parte Pierre Godé, gerente del grupo LVMH afirmó: “Estamos claramente satisfechos por esta decisión que respalda una vez más el principio de distribución selectiva…La decisión del tribunal “castiga a los consumidores al impedirles vender o comprar productos auténticos por Internet”. […]

  • Arnaud Fischer

    Well, I am a huge fan of capitalism and “laissez faire”, and if you want to keep having it and keep reading awesome original content from TechCrunch’s TechCrunch original people and not fake news, you have to be for IP protection. It’s not because protecting IP is a difficult fight that it’s not worth fighting for; same discourse as the environment. Are you gonna give up the IP protection fight because it’s hard and not perfect? I am FOR IP protection and it’s got to start somewhere.


  • French court fines eBay over injunction; eBay responds | Between the Lines |

    […] Today’s fine stems from allegations that more than 1,300 LVMH items have been posted to the site since the injunction was issued, according to a post on TechCrunch Europe. […]

  • Laura Homer

    ouch. i think ebay can take it, although i think situations like this are pretty much out of their hands. big companies DO make mistakes too.

  • GenevaLunch » Blog Archive » eBay hit with €1.7m fine for selling French luxury goods

    […] to other sites: BBC, CNet, TechCrunch Posted by :: Ellen Wallace on 1 December […]

  • Aneman02

    I have not read the court’s ruling, but none of the comments here seem to have got to the main thrust of what is going on.
    Everyone agrees that businesses have a right to protect their IP. Everyone agrees that counterfeits are wrong and illegal. Ebay agrees too.
    However, LVMH seem to take the line that Ebay are guilty until proven innocent, as they have not produced any evidence that any of the items sold (or re-sold) via Ebay was fake, simply stating that there is no evidence that they were original which, of course, Ebay is unable to provide, as they have never taken ownership of these goods at any point…
    While businesses may want to protect and control their routes to market, it is simply not possible in the 21st Century. The point is, LVMH is not open about their intentions in bringing this case, and on the face of it the court’s decision seems a little ‘parochial’ to say the least!

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    […] meinen Augen strange – denn nur weil auf “Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton” das prädikat Luxus […]

  • Barash

    I agree with [Aneman02]. Ebay is trying to comply with an overly “Big Brother” French ruling. Despite their best effort they are being fined for not being perfect in a situation that can’t be 100% controlled.
    I would hate to live in a world (that France seems to want) were government can control everything and anything. There is no evidence that non-LVMH products were sold as LVMH products. In addition, this is not e-bays problem. Let the buyer beware. Ebay has an extensive feedback system were buyers and seller are rated. It exposes bad sellers and makes it hard for them to sell in the future.

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