The body which regulates French auction houses is taking legal action against eBay France, accusing it of breaking a law which requires all auctioneers to be regulated by the state. They accuse eBay failing to uphold rules which protect consumers and combat tax evasion and the sale of counterfeit or stolen goods.
eBay called the accusations “totally unfounded”. In a statement, they said “eBay’s activities and those of the auctioneers are totally separate, as stated by the law, and as we have regularly reminded the council since eBay started trading in France.”
The July 2000 law does make a distinction between online auctioneers, who sell the goods on behalf of their owners and are responsible for delivery to buyers, and online auction brokerages. The latter do not intervene between buyer and seller, and are largely unregulated except in the sale of “cultural products”, such as books, CDs and DVDs.
Last month the regulator took action against motors auction site Exlinea, which is currently “under maintenance”, and they are said to have two or three other sites under scrutiny.