Amazon terms inclusion to counterfeit market list as Donald Trump’s ‘personal vendetta’ against Jeff Bezos. It’s NOT!
E-commerce giant Amazon and Trump administration’s rocky relationship has had another fallout. This time the Seattle based e-commerce giant says its Donald Trump’s ‘personal vendetta’ against Amazon owner Jeff Bezos.
Heads Up! Putting Amazon’s websites on the counterfeit market list isn’t President’s personal vendetta against tech Moghul
- Amazon’s Notorious Acts
- Amazon’s Indulgence In Counterfeit Markets
- Donald Trump’s Antitrust Issues with Jeff Bezos
Recently, the Trump administration released its annual report on notorious markets. The report that looks into hot spots for counterfeiting and piracy and intellectual property, listed 5 Amazon websites under ‘notorious category’.
Amazon’s Notorious Acts
Amazon’s Canada, France, Germany, India, and UK websites are on White House’s list as online markets for knockoff goods. The report states, “The Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy highlights 38 online markets and 34 physical markets that are reported to engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.”
The inclusion doesn’t carry penalty but sheer embarrassment for the brand to be in the same league of the businesses that indulge in buying and selling of counterfeit products.
Hence, Amazon strongly disagrees with the White House.
The company on its blog called the inclusion ‘wrongful.’ An Amazon spokesperson told Politico about the company’s investment in developing detection processes to stop counterfeit products reaching its market place. Emphasising on its proactive technologies the spokesperson further said, “This purely political act is another example of the administration using the US government to advance a personal vendetta against Amazon.”
Amazon’s Indulgence In Counterfeit Markets
The move came as a response from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Last year, the American Apparel and Footwear Association had urged the Trump Administration to investigate Amazon’s role in the online surge of clothing and shoe counterfeits.
Brands like Nike and Apple have faced counterfeiting issues with third-party sellers from Amazon. Nike last year ended its partnership with Amazon as a wholesaler over lack of control over third-party sellers. The third-party seller sold Nike knockoffs and posed stiff competition.
Apple, after firing a genuine third-party vendor, has filed possible anti-trust violation suit which the Federal Trade Commission is currently looking into.
In other cases, shoe-maker Birkenstock withdrew from the platform altogether after Amazon refused to help them with counterfeit issues. Whereas shoe company Allbirds accused Amazon of ripping off their designs.
In reality, Amazon has a long history of turning a blind eye to knockoffs especially in apparel and shoe categories. Still e-commerce giant terms the inclusion of its portals as President Trump’s personal vendetta against Jeff Bezos.
Donald Trump’s Antitrust Issues with Jeff Bezos
President Donald Trump in the past has openly rebuked the Amazon Owner Jeff Bezos over several issues. Be it Bezos owned Washington Post that President terms as ‘fake news’ or the loss to US Postal Services that Amazon caused – all had been public spats.
Trump has even called out Bezos on Anti-trust issues whereas Amazon got back to Trump by challenging the Pentagon’s decision to award a multibillion-dollar cloud computing contract to Microsoft.
It’s been a vicious circle.
But in case of Amazon’s ‘see no evil’ policy towards counterfeits White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Washington Post. “Jeff Bezos could, in the blink of an eye put a complete halt to the counterfeiting that Amazon is facilitating. It’s a rare occurrence where a single individual can have an enormous impact on the issue.”
If it were only Donald Trump’s personal vendetta Jeff Bezos’ amazon.com would have been on the list too…
The American Apparel and Footwear Association members include retailers and brands like Ralph Lauren Corp., Kenneth Cole Productions, Perry Ellis International, Under Armour, Spanx, Lululemon Athletica and Hanesbrands. The association had suggested USTR to consider Amazon’s US website, Amazon.com.
But Trump Administration did not go that far which for now works in Jeff Bezos’ favour.