EBay Inc. (EBAY:US) said it may win a reduction in fines after France’s high appeals court overturned part of a 2010 decision holding it responsible for sales of counterfeit LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC) goods on its website.
The Cour de Cassation today referred the case back for retrial by a Paris court of appeal. An earlier appeals court had maintained a Paris commercial court’s finding that EBay didn’t do enough to stop the sale of fakes, while slashing fines imposed by the tribunal.
“We are pleased that the ability of lower courts to impose an injunction against EBay has been lifted and that the damages against EBay are likely to be further reduced,” the world’s largest Internet marketplace said in an e-mailed statement.
EBay has been in a multi-year dispute with brand owners over how vigilant it is in policing its site for fakes. The San Jose, California-based company already claimed victory in 2010 when the appeals court cut the fines imposed by the commercial court in 2008 to 5.6 million euros ($7.4 million) from almost 40 million euros.
LVMH, the world’s largest maker of luxury goods, also called that decision a win, for maintaining the earlier finding that EBay was liable for fakes sold between 2001 and 2006 on its site.
Hugues Schmitt, an external spokesman for LVMH, said the company had no comment.
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