As per a report by Axios, retail giant Amazon and renowned online trading platform eBay are among the companies that are staunchly against the idea of having laws that would force them to do a more thorough identity-cum-background check on their third-party sellers, and making their contact information available for use by consumers.
INFORM Legislations Demand Information
The new types of legislations, which have been dubbed as INFORM acts, have been proposed at both the State and National Senate levels, and seem to be quite irksome to the likes of eBay and Amazon.
Supported by the likes of Walgreen and Home Depot, these acts would require online retail platforms to look into the identity and contact information of their third-party sellers, and provide the same to consumers, if passed. Etsy too, joins the above-mentioned platforms in claiming that the move is in violation of the rights of third-party sellers.
Apparent Bias and the China Bill Connection
Amazon has called the acts out for supposedly being biased towards big retailers doing most of their biddings offline, and that too, “at the expense” of small-scale businesses with rely on the internet and online services for selling their products. The Jeff Bezos-led firm has also accused the acts of failing to take any concrete steps to prevent “fraud or abuse”.
Experts say that with US Innovation and Competition Act being passed with a sweeping majority, online retail platforms, too, were in for a partial victory. This is because no clause from the INFORM acts was attached to the new bill, which is aimed at providing a boost to the science and tech sector in the United States, and allow for a tougher competition to market leader China. However, since the Act still has a long way to go in terms of being passed by the Assembly, the INFORM legislations could still be applied through modifications to the original bill.
When informed about this possibility, an Amazon spokesperson said that the company is “concerned” about attaching the “controversial” legislation to the bill, much like other online retailers and small businesses are.
Counterfeiting and Seller Identity
Nevertheless, Amazon had, as of last July, announced that it would start listing the names and contact addresses of its third-party sellers situated in the United States, to avoiding any counterfeiting. Just last month, the firm also revealed that as many as 2 million counterfeit goods had been seized and destroyed by it, over the course of last year. The same however, does not apply to sellers headquartered in other parts of the world.