Amazon’s e-commerce bill bind

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Amazon will have to decide whether to go it alone in the fight against a bill to curb the online sale of counterfeit and stolen goods, with its e-commerce peers Etsy and eBay in their behind-the-scenes House law updated for Thursday’s hearing. Support thrown.

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Between the lines: Fierce and unanimous opposition has shattered from the online marketplace, potentially easing the way forward for the latest legislation.

running news: A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will consider the online retail bill, known as the Information Act, Thursday.

  • The bipartisan Information Act, from subcommittee chairman Jan Schakowski (D-Ill.) and ranking member Gus Billirakis (R-Fla.), will require online marketplaces to collect and verify identity information of sellers who have committed at least one year. Less than 200 sales. that together are worth $5,000 or more.
  • The bill also requires platforms that provide a way for customers to contact sellers who have more than $20,000 in annual gross revenue after purchase.
  • The need for such information and disclosure, lawmakers say, would discourage criminals from using the platforms to sell counterfeit and stolen goods – a problem that escalated during the pandemic in the form of e-commerce.

Flashback: earlier this year, Senators tried to link their version of the Information Act to a China-focused competition bill, the US Innovation and Competition Act, but the effort failed intense lobbying by Amazon and others.

  • “Privacy and security concerns were very important to our members, so we fought for a little bit more security around those issues, and we’ve gotten over them,” said Chris Lamond, who works for Protect America’s Small Sellers. The Coalition, which counts eBay, includes Etsy and Poshmark as its members. “It’s a big change from the Senate version.”

Intrigue: Lawmakers who included the measure in the House version of the contest bill negotiated with smaller platforms to gain their support.

  • Etsy said House Edition does a better job of protecting the privacy of its sellers, many of whom sell out of their homes, requiring the disclosure of their information.
  • It strikes the right balance between best practices in vetting and discreet disclosure without an invasion of privacy, Jeffrey Zubriecki, head of US government relations, told Nerdshala.
  • eBay said the change in verification requirements also helped the company gain support, as raising the threshold for when the platform must provide a means for customers to contact sellers.
  • The House bill would also undo similar legislation that has come to state homes across the country.
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big picture: The legislation was also praised by Consumer Reports, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Buy Safe America Coalition, which represents Home Depot, Walgreens and other major retailers.

yes but: Amazon, which strongly opposed the Senate version, declined to comment on the House version.

  • The Makers and Merchants Coalition – funded by the Internet Association, a trade association that represents Amazon – said it is reviewing the latest bill.
  • Katie Wright, spokeswoman for the Makers and Merchants Coalition, said in a statement, “While this type of law was never designed to prevent fraud and abuse, it benefits large brick-and-mortar retailers at the expense of smaller online sellers.” It was written to deliver.” “Big Retail and Buy Safe continue to advance legislation at the state and federal level with varying provisions that have the potential to harm honest sellers.”
  • “While some marketplaces have become hot for the house bill, short sellers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and we are reviewing the latest iteration with a view to keeping all honest sellers harmless.”


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