“eBay ordered to pay damages in sale of fake goods”

That’s the headline, the country is France.  Is there any efficiency rationale for this decision?  The alternative equilibrium involves a fair number of fakes, some good discounts for real items, an overconcentration of trading activity is easily verifiable or not worth faking items, and of course a diminution in the value of brand names.  The latter effect may even be welfare-improving once you consider price discrimination and the association of brand names with monopoly rents.  You can put the penalty on the seller but how is eBay to detect possible fakes?  Buy and inspect the wares?  Shut down trade in any fakeable item?  I would think it is also easy enough to "buy fakes" from your buddy, in essence keep the cash, give him a percentage, and then sue eBay for the "loss."  If the owner of the brand can sue would not the French court consider a suit from the buyer of the fakes as well?


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