The United States administration has placed on its blacklist five foreign websites of the online retail giant Amazon.
The list, which is called a “notorious markets” register, saw the entry of the e-commerce platforms of Amazon in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, India and Canada.
The sale of counterfeit and pirated products have been facilitated by these websites, said the office of the US trade representative.
While claiming that heavy investments have been made by it to prevent illegal activities, Amazon said the move by the Trump administration of blacklisting was politically motivated.
The decision of the addition of the foreign websites to its black list was prompted by complaints registered with it by US businesses over the sale of fake goods, said the trade representative’s office.
Even though there is no legal implications of the blacklist, it does put companies and brands that are placed on it under the critical spotlight – which becomes a cause of concern for companies that have become household names such as Amazon.
The inclusion of its foreign sites on the blacklist was described by Amazon as a “political act” that was motivated because Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, was apparently disliked by US President Donald Trump.
“This purely political act is another example of the administration using the US government to advance a personal vendetta against Amazon,” the company said in a statement.
Significant investments in technology have been made by Amazon in order to prevent the sale of counterfeit products on its e-commerce platforms, said the online shopping giant. The Trump administration has excluded the company’s US website from the list.
Clear information about sellers was not provided by the identified sites of Amazon, said complaints, according to the report. The process used for removal of platforms that are allegedly engaged in selling counterfeit goods was “lengthy and burdensome”, the report also said.
Significant investments in technology to stop the selling of counterfeit problem have already been made by it, Amazon said in its statement, and added that last year, more than 6 billion bad listings had been blocked by it before offers of the sellers were published on the platform.
“We are an active, engaged stakeholder in the fight against counterfeit,” an Amazon spokesperson added.
There have been frequent clashed between Trump and Amazon as well as its owner Jeff Bezos, who is also the owner of Washington Post newspaper, even at the personal level. Trump has preciously publicly stated that not enough taxes were paid by Amazon in the US.
The US Department of Defense was challenged in court last year by Amazon after the e-retailing company alleged that is had been intentionally sidelined and its bid was overlooked for a Pentagon cloud computing contract which was worth $10bn/ Microsoft was chosen over Amazon for the deal. The deal is currently being blocked while federal judges investigate the claims.
(Adapted from BBC.com)