Counterfeit Goods not Welcome at eBay

March 30, 2009

Photo: eBay CEO eBay CEO John Donahoe (in Strasbourg) shares the success of the company’s anti-counterfeit efforts with EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy. eBay called on EU regulators, brandowners, law enforcement and consumers to team up and take a significant step forward in beating fraudsters selling counterfeit goods.


New eBay report calls for collective action on counterfeit goods and offers recommendations for fighting the harm counterfeits create for EU consumers and legitimate online and offline businesses

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. – March 24, 2009 – eBay today called on EU regulators, brand
owners, law enforcement and consumers to team up and take a significant step forward in beating fraudsters selling counterfeit goods.

In a new report, entitled "Fighting against Online Solicitations of Counterfeits", eBay details the scale of the counterfeit problem and offers clear recommendations to tackle it.

In 2008, 0.15% of a total 2.7 billion listings on eBay were identified as potentially counterfeit thanks to an advanced anti-counterfeit programme, which includes proprietary tools for online prevention, detection and enforcement in close cooperation with brands owners and law enforcement. It is this leading edge experience that eBay is seeking to share as it proposes a way to tackle one of societies most pervasive problems.

“Counterfeit goods harm consumers and merchants, online and offline. The fight is with counterfeiters, not with those who seek to expand consumer choice and deliver real value, said John Donahoe, eBay Inc. President and CEO.

“Defeating counterfeiters requires a coordinated and global approach involving government, industry, law enforcement and internet users to effectively fight the issue. Only by working together can we halt the supply and demand for counterfeits and defeat those who manufacture and distribute such items.”

In the report, eBay offers perspectives on the Internet’s impact on the overall issue of counterfeits. It says that while the majority of counterfeited products are traded offline through mobile traders and physical markets and retail outlets, the Internet does increase visibility of counterfeit items, which is why eBay is calling for co-operation across Europe.

eBay hosted 2.7 billion listings in 2008. Out of every 1,000 listings, fewer than two were potentially counterfeit, and those were promptly removed by eBay. The company also suspended some 30,000 eBay sellers for listing potentially counterfeit items.

“We are fully committed to defeating counterfeiters online, but only the rights owners and law enforcement agencies have the necessary expertise, incentives, resources and legal tools to attack the issue at its source before the items get into legitimate distribution channels,” said Donahoe.

”We look forward to working with all interested groups to achieve our common goal: to preserve consumer choice and protect intellectual property rights by eliminating the sale of counterfeit goods”.

eBay recognises its role in the fight against counterfeits and is constantly looking for new ways to tackle this problem. Effective cooperation involving all concerned parties is urgently needed. eBay has set the standard for other e-commerce platforms.

For instance:

  • eBay works with Rights Owners through its Verified Rights Owner Program (VeRO) to report and take down listings for potentially counterfeit items.
  • Through VeRO, rights owners can notify eBay if they identify a potentially counterfeit item for sale on the website. eBay instantly investigates each notification and removes fraudulent listings.
  • 100% of the listings reported to be counterfeit are removed. 90% of the reported listings are removed within 12 hours, the majority within 4 hours.
  • More than 31,000 rights owners, ranging from Global 500 companies to industry trade associations to small businesses, currently participate in the VeRO programme.
  • All eBay users can also report unlawful activity via a link provided on each listing page to report a potentially infringing or otherwise unlawful listing to the eBay customer support team.
  • eBay has developed sophisticated tools that enable it to profile and detect patterns of fraudulent activity and employs a variety of measures and tools to keep previously suspended users from returning to the site.
  • eBay typically removes as many listings proactively as it does through all rights owner reports (“notices”) combined.
  • eBay works with law enforcement agencies to reduce counterfeiting, for example through the Global Law Enforcement Operations team (GLEO): a worldwide organization consisting of investigators, security engineers and law enforcement relationship managers located in various cities and countries.
  • In 2008 the eBay GLEO team assisted law enforcement in 71,332 investigations (of all types, including counterfeits). The GLEO team proactively referred 505 cases to law enforcement.
  • GLEO trained approximately 4,200 law enforcement officials around the world on eBay’s platforms.

Media Relations Contact:
Sravanthi Agrawal
eBay EU Corporate Communications
Email : [email protected]
Office: +35226639109
Mobile: +352621141696