The Administration today wrongfully named Amazon’s stores in Canada, France, Germany, India and the UK to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) annual Notorious Markets List, despite the fact that more than 99.9% of pages viewed worldwide by customers on Amazon have never had a report of counterfeit. We strongly disagree with the characterization of Amazon in this USTR report. This purely political act is another example of the Administration’s notorious pattern of using the U.S. government to advance a personal vendetta against Amazon.
Amazon makes significant investments in proactive technologies and processes to detect and stop bad actors and potentially counterfeit products from being sold in our stores. In 2019 alone, we invested over $500 million and have more than 8,000 employees protecting our store from fraud and abuse. We also stopped over 2.5 million suspected bad actors from opening Amazon selling accounts before they published a single listing for sale, and we blocked more than 6 billion suspected bad listings before they were published to our stores.
We have developed industry-leading programs like Project Zero, Transparency, and Brand Registry for brands to partner with us and together, drive counterfeits to zero. We have partnerships with industry organizations like Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), Union des Fabricants (UNIFAB), the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council (A2C2) and the EU Commission through a Memorandum of Understanding. We have also created bespoke programs with the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition and Michigan State University’s Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection.
We have invented programs to help entrepreneurs secure and protect their intellectual property rights on-and-off Amazon, like the IP Accelerator and our Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation program. But we haven’t stopped there. We continue to invent and most recently are testing a program to validate prospective sellers’ identification via video conferencing. This pilot allows us to connect one-on-one with prospective sellers while making it even more difficult for fraudsters to hide.
We also work closely with law enforcement agencies and are reporting all confirmed counterfeiters to help them build stronger criminal cases.
Our store is a safe place to shop and that’s a testament to our continued innovation, collaboration, and commitment to fighting counterfeit and other forms of fraud.
We are an active, engaged stakeholder in the fight against counterfeit. However, in the last year for which data was published, only 0.1% of filed federal criminal cases in the US involved charges for trafficking in counterfeit goods, and 56% of counterfeiters sentenced that year received no jail time. We applaud the hard working law enforcement agents helping us fight counterfeits but call on the administration to increase funding and resources for law enforcement agencies so we can hold the real criminals accountable—the current ramifications for counterfeiting are too weak.
Read more about how we ensure customers receive the products they expect.