Amazon is known for its customer obsession, and a critical part of that is earning and maintaining our customers’ trust, which is why we are so focused on creating a trustworthy shopping experience each and every day. Today, we and our millions of selling partners—the vast majority of which are small and medium-sized businesses—serve hundreds of millions of customers worldwide. Our customers expect that when they purchase an item in our store, sold either by Amazon or by one of our third-party selling partners, they will receive an authentic product.
In 2021, Amazon invested more than $900 million and employed more than 12,000 people—including machine learning scientists, software developers, and expert investigators—who were dedicated to protecting customers, brands, selling partners, and our store from counterfeit, fraud, and other forms of abuse. I am proud of the incredible results that our team has delivered—in partnership with rights owners, law enforcement, and others—to ensure our store is one where customers can continue to shop with confidence.
This is our second Amazon Brand Protection Report, and it details a wide range of exciting progress. We remain focused on the same three key areas of our strategy that we mentioned last year: powerful and highly effective proactive efforts to protect our store, industry-leading tools enabling rights owners to partner with us to better protect their brands, and holding bad actors accountable. A few highlights include:
1. Our robust seller and product vetting coupled with our efforts to hold bad actors accountable are deterring bad actors from even attempting to enter our store. In 2021, we stopped over 2.5 million attempts to create new selling accounts, preventing these bad actors from publishing even a single product for sale. This is down from over 6 million attempts the prior year.
2. We saw continued growth in the adoption and efficacy of our automated brand protection tools, which continue to reduce the number of issues that brands are able to find and report to us. In 2021, Brand Registry grew to include over 700,000 active brands, an increase of 40% from the prior year. At the same time, the average number of valid notices of infringement submitted by a brand in Brand Registry decreased by 25% from the prior year.
3. We continue to focus on ensuring counterfeiters are held accountable—stopping them from abusing our store and those of other retailers across the industry.
- Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) sued or referred for investigation over 600 criminals in the U.S., UK, EU, and China, an increase of 300% from the previous year.
- We identified, seized, and appropriately disposed of more than 3 million counterfeit products, preventing them from harming customers or being resold elsewhere in the retail supply chain. This includes counterfeits that were attempted to be sent into our fulfillment network and situations where we worked with brands and law enforcement to find counterfeiters’ warehouses and facilities and get them shut down.
- Building on our learning and progress in protecting our store, we published a blueprint for public and private sector partnership to stop counterfeiters. This included the importance of information exchanges in the private sector to stop counterfeiters across retailers, partnering with customs to protect the borders, and the need for increasing resources for law enforcement to prosecute counterfeiters. While it is still early in this journey, we are excited that the blueprint has helped spark productive dialogue with others and that we are engaging in multiple data sharing pilots and seeing some early legislative wins.
This year, we included a fourth area of focus: educating and supporting customers. We launched several new efforts that educate consumers on why they should only purchase authentic products. We also continue to invest in how we both proactively and reactively address issues. If something goes wrong, customers can be confident they will always be taken care of.
Since opening our doors in 1995, trust has been at the foundation of everything we do. Nearly 27 years later, we are more effective than ever at protecting customers, brands, selling partners, and our store. While we are proud of the progress we have made, we will not stop until we drive counterfeits to zero in our store, and we will continue to invest and innovate until we get there. We also appreciate the growing industry-wide partnership and collaboration in the fight against counterfeit. We are excited about what we can do together to hold bad actors accountable and ensure the entire industry is rid of counterfeits.
I invite you to read the 2021 Brand Protection Report.
Vice President, Worldwide Selling Partner Services, Amazon