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The Trump administration blacklisted 5 overseas Amazon websites as 'notorious markets' and Amazon says it's political bullying

Jeff Bezos
  • The Trump administration has added 5 of Amazon's foreign websites to a "notorious markets" register.
  • The US trade representative's office says the websites – serving the UK, Germany, France, India, and Canada – contributed to the sale of counterfeit and pirated products.
  • Amazon told Business Insider the blacklisting was a "political act" made to advance "a personal vendetta against Amazon," and described itself as an "active, engaged stakeholder in the fight against counterfeit."
  • Though the notorious markets register does not have any legal consequences, it draws negative attention to Amazon at a time when the tech giant is already under scrutiny for its handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The Trump administration has added five of Amazon's overseas domains to a "notorious markets" register, in what's become a fraught few months for the tech giant.
The US trade representative's office says the websites – serving the UK, Germany, France, India, and Canada – facilitate the sale of counterfeit and pirated products.
It says it received complaints from US businesses that the five overseas websites didn't provide clear information about sellers, and that the process to remove platforms selling counterfeit goods was "lengthy and burdensome."
The notorious markets register is a list of markets that are reported to "engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy." It includes both physical markets, such as malls or open-air stalls, as well as online platforms such as Amazon.
An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider that the blacklisting was a "political act" driven by "a personal vendetta against Amazon."
Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos have repeatedly clashed with Trump and his administration. Bezos owns The Washington Post, and Trump has often baselessly claimed that the newspaper is a lobbying tool for the online retail giant.
Amazon is also suing the government after the Pentagon handed a $10 billion defense contract to Microsoft, claiming the decision was motivated by Trump's bias against the company and Bezos.
It also described itself as an "active, engaged stakeholder in the fight against counterfeit."
"Amazon makes significant investments in proactive technologies and processes to detect and stop bad actors and potentially counterfeit products from being sold in our stores," it continued, also citing its past anti-fraud investments.
"In 2019 alone, we invested over $500 million and have more than 8,000 employees protecting our store from fraud and abuse. We also stopped over 2.5 million suspected bad actors from opening Amazon selling accounts before they published a single listing for sale, blocking more than 6 billion suspected bad listings before they were published to our stores."
The spokesperson also claimed that "more than 99.9% of pages viewed worldwide by customers on Amazon have never had a report of counterfeit."
Though the notorious markets register does not bestow legal consequences on Amazon, it does draw negative attention to the company at a time when it's already under scrutiny for its handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
A coalition of workers from Amazon – as well as Walmart, FedEx, Target, Instacart, and Whole Foods – will reportedly go on strike Friday over working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.
SEE ALSO: Amazon reportedly paid nearly $10 million to a blacklisted Chinese company for thermal imaging cameras to monitor employee temperatures
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