Amazon blocked 10 billion listings in counterfeit crackdown

WASHINGTON • Amazon said it blocked more than 10 billion suspected listings of counterfeit goods on its platform last year as part of a global crackdown in the face of pressure from consumers, brands and regulators.

The e-commerce giant made the announcement on Monday in its first "brand protection report", as part of an initiative to weed out listings of fakes by third-party sellers.

The report said Amazon seized some two million counterfeit products last year and destroyed them to stop them from being resold.

The company said it invested about US$700 million (S$928 million) in the anti-counterfeiting initiative, including in machine learning technology, and "blocked more than 10 billion suspected bad listings before they were published in its stores".

Mr Dharmesh Mehta, vice-president for customer trust and partner support, said: "We've helped our selling partners keep their virtual doors open, and despite increased attempts by bad actors, continued to ensure that the vast majority of customers shop with confidence from our broad selection of authentic products."

The company also said fewer than 0.01 per cent of products sold on its platform received a counterfeit complaint that led to an investigation.

The move comes as Amazon faces pressure from United States lawmakers and others to step up efforts to crack down on fake listings of branded products.

Several measures pending in Congress would require e-commerce platforms to do more to verify the authenticity of products sold on their sites.

Amazon has faced lawsuits in Europe seeking to hold it liable for counterfeit goods, while the company has joined brands in suing sellers of suspected knock-offs.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2021, with the headline 'Amazon blocked 10 billion listings in counterfeit crackdown'. Subscribe