Amazon supports bill that holds online retail platforms liable for third party wrongdoings
A California consumer protection bill proposal called AB 3262, which seeks to hold electronic retail marketplaces liable for third party wrongdoings, has Amazon’s public support. E-commerce platforms heavily count on third party vendors. Half of Amazon’s profit was due to third party transactions in 2019. Recently, Amazon was held liable by a court of appeals in California for injuries caused to a woman who had bought a laptop battery from a third party seller through Amazon’s intermediation. After the case, the AB 3262 proposal was introduced. Traditionally, in the USA courts have ruled that online retailers of third party products are immune to any tort liability by positioning them as Internet service providers (ISPs). Section 230 (c) of the Communications Decency Act exempts ISPs from third party liability. Supporters of AB 3262 stand that virtual retailers shall have the same liability standards as physical stores. Amazon backed the bill if all stores, including online intermediaries, are held to the same liability standards. Amazon’s support has faced criticism from smaller platforms that claimed that they would not be able to absorb third party damages.