Touché, eBay

eBay Louis Vuitton logo

So it looks like eBay isn’t taking it’s recent HUGE losses (against LVMH and Hermes) in Europe sitting down.

Tod Cohen, (Deputy General Counsel for eBay) has apparently asked the commissioner of Anti-trust issues in the European Union to look into some of these companies that are using tight (and arguably “anti-competitive” and  “abusive”) distribution agreements to keep their products off of eBay.

Cohen contends that these companies’ policies are “manipulating and controlling the markets beyond EU market rules”.

Interesting quote from Neelie Kroes, European Union Competition Commissioner:


“There are a number of practices that are being used to restrict cross-border sales, which I think require a closer look.

Like I’ve always said, I back any companies’ efforts to protect their good name and reputation.  eBay bears some responsibility in this- mainly in working closely with Trademark owners in keeping the market clean.  (They could do more- in requiring real verification for all users for starters!)  But they’re doing a ton of what they can do.  What they aren’t good at is combing through all of the listings for fakes.  This is where there needs to be coordination and cooperation with the Brand holders themselves.

The idea that a company can restrict my ability to resell any item that I have legitimately purchased, because they don’t want it sold in an particular venue is just craziness.  I mean, so you buy a Mercedes from an authorized Mercedes dealership, and you are never allowed to resell your vehicle?  Come on!

That’s what LVMH has done in France.  Let’s say that I live in France and get J’Adore Dior perfume (Dior is owned by LVMH) for my birthday.  And let’s just say that I’m also allergic to perfumes.  I am not allowed by LVMH or eBay since the decision earlier this year (unless Mr. Cohen’s efforts prove victorious) to sell that perfume on eBay.

Let’s just hope that at the very least that kind of nonsense doesn’t get worse (more limitations… and more lawsuits), and at best that people will be able have full rights of resale to anything that they legally and lawfully buy with their hard earned money.

Can’t these companies see how limiting resale reduces the value of their luxury brands?

Read more from Retail Week.

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