Amazon, the world’s largest e-retailer, has long faced criticism for being a bastion of counterfeit bullshit. Not that the site isn’t incredibly convenient, but the company’s lack of a vetting system has allowed sellers to peddle convincing knockoffs, essentially stealing from people too eager to score a bargain.
Now, it seems that the scourge of fake products has finally become too much of an issue for the company’s leadership to ignore. Bloomberg News reports Amazon is finally taking measures to tackle the problem by assembling a brand registry, aimed at ferreting out any potentially false products. The company will work with brands, ostensibly to verify if goods are legit, so would-be consumers aren't tossing their money into a void.
According to Amazon, the endeavor will be a heavy focus in 2017, noting in a statement that it “has zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeit items on our site," which is a bit of weird posturing from a company that was sued last month for allegedly harboring an an insane amount counterfeit iPhone chargers.
The Bloomberg story notes that marketplace merchants will be required to obtain permission from brands in order to sell their products. Merchants will then have to verify that they’ve received brand permission, like a sort of license for third party sellers -- who comprise a vast section of Amazon’s user base.
In any case, this is good news, especially when viewed in light of another set of issues plaguing a different tech giant, Facebook, which is still grappling internally with a spate of fake news stories.
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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.