Amazon tackles counterfeits but denies liability
Amazon informed its customers that the Align nutritional supplements sold on its platform by third-party vendors were counterfeits. The company recommended its customers to stop using and disposing of the supplements in the US. Amazon does not know if any of its customers have ingested something dangerous. They received a full refund for having purchased the fake supplements. Amazon has fought against fake products sold by third parties for years. The company alleges to investigate every claim of counterfeit, often with the assistance of brands, and to remove the illegal items for sale, permanently banning bad actors. However, Amazon’s liability for illegal third party products is limited in the US. Courts have ruled that market places such as Amazon and eBay are mere intermediaries between customers and sellers, and, therefore, are immune under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). Amazon is both a retailer and a third-party marketplace. In a recent ruling, a court of appeal has admitted that Amazon’s product listing, featuring its own products but also third-party products, makes it difficult for customers to understand from whom they are purchasing the product.