Amazon says it intercepted 3m fake products in 2021

The latest update on Amazon's brand protection report says the online retail giant intercepted three million counterfeit products in 2021, a 50 per cent increase on the previous year.

The company also says it stopped over 2.5 million attempts to create new selling accounts – preventing them from publishing products for sale – which is a reduction on the 6 million blocked attempts in 2020.

The company – which is often accused of not doing enough to tackle the issue of counterfeit goods on its platform – said it invested more than $900m in 2021 on brand protection, employing more than 12,000 people to tackle "counterfeit, fraud, and other forms of abuse."

Among the other stats trumpeted by Amazon is a 25 per cent reduction in notifications of infringement by companies enrolled in its Brand Registry service, and a 300 per cent increase in referrals by its counterfeit crimes unit (CCU), with more than 600 individuals in the US, Europe and China investigated.

The company also published a blueprint for public and private sector partnership to stop counterfeiters last year that highlighted 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," said Dharmesh Mehta, head of worldwide selling partner services at Amazon.

"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."

Despite the efforts, there are still efforts by US lawmakers to force Amazon and other online retail platforms like eBay, Wish and Etsy to do more on the counterfeiting issue.

Proposed legislation would require them to authenticate the identity of high-volume sellers, and collect information like government and tax IDs, bank account information and contact details – measures which Amazon has pushed back against.

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