e-Bay in court over cheapening scents

A sample of "Pure Poison," a fragrance by Christian Dior

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: On what retailers call Cyber Monday today, online auctioneer e-Bay finds itself in a Paris courtroom. We get that story from our Europe correspondent, Stephen Beard.


Stephen Beard: The court will decide whether e-Bay has complied with an injunction banning the sale on its French site of certain luxury fragrances.

LVMH, which makes Christian Dior, Kenzo and Givenchy perfumes, brought the case. LVMH is concerned that people are buying their products wholesale and then selling them over e-Bay 50 percent cheaper than their usual retail price. The company is worried this might devalue the brands.

But Alex von Schirmeister of e-Bay says an important branch of e-commerce is under attack:

Alex von Schirmeister: The injunction is the edge of the wedge that could spread to different categories and which would ultimately mean that people cannot sell genuine items that they own on the Internet.

He says e-Bay has complied with the French injunction, but fears that it could be extended to other countries and other brands. He claims the future of online auction sites could be in jeopardy.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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