L'Oreal sues eBay over counterfeit fragrance auctions


PARIS L’Oreal is taking legal action against eBay in five European countries, alleging that the online auctioneer is not doing enough to pull the plug on the sale of counterfeit cosmetics and perfumes through its Web site.

The legal proceedings were launched against eBay in France, Germany, Britain, Belgium and Spain.

“L’Oreal has been facing an increasing volume of illicit trade in fake fragrances and fake cosmetic products on some online auction sites. These sites also feature luxury products for sale in significant quantities by unauthorized dealers, including products without outer packaging or leaflets containing health and safety information such as ingredients lists and precautionary warnings,” L’Oreal stated. “Consequently, L’Oreal has decided to take legal action to protect the consumers, preserve the quality of its selective luxury distribution network and defend the reputation of its trademarks.”

In a prepared statement, an eBay spokesperson said, “We are disappointed L’Oreal has filed a lawsuit against eBay, given that we have been actively supporting their brand protection efforts. As a responsible company that works with more than 18,000 rights owners, we will continue to act on their reports. We regret that we find ourselves caught in the cross-fire between L’Oreal and a small number of individuals who are alleged to have infringed L’Oreal’s trade marks. We do not wish or intend to take sides, but we will fight the legal action because we believe L’Oreal’s claims against eBay are without merit.”

The action by L’Oreal follows similar action taken against eBay by such companies as luxury groups LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and the French conglomerate PPR. 

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