eBay loses French keyword case
Online auctioning giant eBay has been found guilty by a French court for misleading consumers by using misspelt versions of luxury brands as search engine keywords to redirect users to its own links.
The company was ordered by a tribunal to pay 200,000 Euros ($306,000) and additional legal costs to fashion brand Louis Vuitton.
eBay was accused by the tribunal that it had “harmed the reputation of the Louis Vuitton brand” through its actions, and paying search engines Google and Yahoo! to make sure that the misspelt keywords would lead consumers back to its site.
“We are extremely disappointed by this decision. We recognise the facts but we think the sanction is disproportionate,” said Yohan Ruso, head of eBay France.
“This issue is being used by certain rights owners as an excuse to retain total control of what people can buy, where they can buy it from and how much they have to pay,” eBay said in a statement.