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Brands in bid to block eBay sales

Brands and retailers are being urged to make sure they have selective distribution agreements in place to protect themselves from moves by eBay to change competition laws.

The auction website this week launched a petition to garner support from its users to get the EU to change competition laws so it can prevent brands from blocking the sale of their products on its site.

However, selective distribution agreements - which determine who can sell a brand’s product and where they can sell it - would enable brands to reduce the amount of product that ends up on the auction site.

eBay argued that only 0.15% of listings last year were reported as counterfeit and that the real aim of brands was to block the sale of all of their products via the site.

Stephen Sidkin, partner in law firm Fox Williams, said: “There is grey market and remainder product on eBay as well as counterfeit. A selective distribution agreement including online sales would mean brands could identify unauthorised sellers and suppliers on eBay.”

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