eBay fined in France for selling upscale perfumes

Nov 30, 2009 By EMMA VANDORE , AP Business Writer
eBay logo A
eBay logo

(AP) -- Online auction site eBay Inc. was fined euro1.7 million ($2.5 million) by a Paris court on Monday for failing to stop the sale of famous perfume brands like Christian Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy and Kenzo - all of which are owned by luxury group LVMH.

The decision follows a ruling last year against eBay for not respecting the system championed by brand owners such as LVMH and Richemont SA, the Swiss maker of Cartier watches, which is called selective distribution.

The brand owners argue that luxury goods are valuable when they are exclusive and available in selected outlets - and not in an online free-for-all.

EBay, meanwhile, has been calling for a change in European antitrust rules that allow luxury manufacturers to choose who can sell their branded goods online.

Paris-based LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA hailed the decision by the Paris commercial court, which it said "constitutes an important step in the fight against unlawful practices."

But Alex von Schirmeister, head of eBay in France, said the decision "hurts consumers" and that the company hopes the verdict is overturned on appeal.

"The injunction is an abuse of 'selective distribution'," he said in a statement.

"We believe that the higher courts will overturn this ruling and ensure that eCommerce companies such as eBay will continue to provide a platform for buyers and sellers to trade authentic goods," he said.

EBay has separately run into legal trouble with and cosmetics manufacturers over the sale of bogus products on the site - with mixed results in different courts.

Last year, a French court ordered eBay to pay more than $61 million to LVMH over counterfeit sales. But in May, a British court rebuffed a L'Oreal suit that sought to hold eBay liable for the sale of fake fragrances and cosmetics. In February, also won in a German legal case brought by the Rolex Group over the sale of counterfeit watches.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Twitter takes note of other apps on smartphones

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EBay calls on EU to change luxury brand rules

Sep 17, 2009

(AP) -- EBay Inc. called Thursday on the European Union to change antitrust rules that allow luxury manufacturers to choose who can sell their branded goods online.

EBay wins court fight against L'Oreal in UK

May 22, 2009

(AP) -- A British court on Friday ruled that Internet marketplace eBay is not liable for bogus beauty products sold on its Web site, dealing a blow to cosmetics company L'Oreal's campaign against the online auction giant.

EBay settles lawsuit filed by Skype founders

Nov 06, 2009

(AP) -- EBay Inc. has settled a legal skirmish with the founders of Skype that threatened to complicate eBay's plans to sell most of the Internet phone service to a group of investors for $2 billion.

Recommended for you

UN moves to strengthen digital privacy (Update)

Nov 25, 2014

The United Nations on Tuesday adopted a resolution on protecting digital privacy that for the first time urged governments to offer redress to citizens targeted by mass surveillance.

Spotify turns up volume as losses fall

Nov 25, 2014

The world's biggest music streaming service, Spotify, announced Tuesday its revenue grew by 74 percent in 2013 while net losses shrank by one third, in a year of spectacular expansion.

Virtual money and user's identity

Nov 25, 2014

Bitcoin is the new money: minted and exchanged on the Internet. Faster and cheaper than a bank, the service is attracting attention from all over the world. But a big question remains: are the transactions ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.