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USTR names Snapdeal for selling counterfeit goods, company calls findings ‘ill informed’

Credit: Soumyarendra Barik

Snapdeal has hit out at the United States Trade Representative (USTR) after being named in its latest report for allegedly selling counterfeit products on its platform. Calling the findings of the USTR report “ill informed”, in a press statement the company said that the report “reflects a poor understanding of the governing law in various jurisdictions, including India”. It also contended that the USTR failed to understand the difference between a marketplace and a seller, and in that process ignored “clear and well-established regulatory and legal frameworks under which marketplaces operate”. This is the second time that the company has been named by the USTR in its reports. What the USTR report said about Snapdeal The USTR report—released on January 14—includes examples of online and physical markets that reportedly engage in or facilitate “substantial” piracy or counterfeiting. The organisation said that the availability of counterfeit goods on e-commerce platforms “harms” the American economy, and American consumers as well. Aside from Snapdeal, it also names Amazon’s operations in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, and Italy, among others. The report said that Snapdeal “remains a concern for right holders who report that the volume of counterfeit products on this platform has increased over the past year”. Referring to a 2018 survey, USTR claimed that 37% of buyers reported that they had received a counterfeit product from Snapdeal. “Right holders have also sued Snapdeal for selling counterfeit goods,” it added. It also claimed that in July 2019, Snapdeal’s founders were accused of…

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