Customer trust is central to everything we do at Amazon. To that end, we strongly support legislative efforts to stop bad actors from harming consumers, including increasing penalties against online criminals and providing greater resources for law enforcement. In addition to our industry-leading efforts to verify a seller’s identity and ensure that only authentic and legal products are sold in our store, we’ve also created our own Counterfeit Crimes Unit to work directly with law enforcement to bring these bad actors to justice. We are joining forces with Attorneys General in states like Illinois and Utah to go after criminals there.
Unfortunately, some big-box retailers like Walmart and Home Depot, and their respective lobbying groups, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Buy Safe America Coalition, have pushed legislation at the federal and state levels with the purported goal of preventing the online sale of counterfeit items and stolen goods. The real purpose of these measures is to favor large brick-and-mortar retailers at the expense of small businesses that sell online.
We opposed those bills because they hurt honest sellers and do nothing to actually prevent fraud and abuse.
Amazon and a number of small businesses that sell in our store have spent this past year talking to policymakers about the facts and what Congress can do to truly help protect customers, while not punishing the honest small businesses that sell online. We appreciate that policymakers listened to these concerns and added important changes to H.R. 5502, the recently introduced House version of the INFORM Act.
These modifications will protect innovation, giving Amazon and other online marketplaces flexibility in how we stop bad actors. Equally important, this bill will not favor one business model over another. We’re thankful for the progress that’s been made on the House version of the INFORM Act and look forward to supporting its passage. While there are a few areas in the bill that could be refined to further minimize burdens on honest sellers, we believe this bill will help protect small businesses and consumers alike. We also think it is important this bill establishes a federal standard, preventing an unworkable patchwork of state-level regulations.
With H.R. 5502, Congress will be doing what’s best for small businesses and consumers. We look forward to working with lawmakers to further strengthen the bill and to get the INFORM Act passed into law.