Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bidding goodbye to Louis V.

If you love scouring the internet for the best prices on designer handbags, your way of life could be experiencing a few changes, thanks to Lady Justice and some killjoy corporate folks at Louis Vuitton.

On Monday, a French court handed down a decision ordering eBay Inc. and eBay International to pay LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and 4 other companies a total of 38.9 million euros ($61.3 million) for allowing the sale of counterfeit goods and for the unlawful sale of authentic fragrances (Christian Dior, Kenzo Parfums, Guerlain and Parfums Givenchy also took part in the suit). The decision comes after 2 years of legal battles between the luxury goods companies and eBay, and marks the highest fine ever awarded against eBay in Europe.

LVMH, of course, was pleased with the decision, with hopes the ruling will help preserve their name and the status of the brand. The folks at eBay... not so much. To quote the website's rep: "The decisions today are not about the battle against counterfeiting. In reality, it's a matter of a wish by LVMH to protect its commercial practices excluding all competition."

Booyah. Take that Frenchie.

This battle is far from over. eBay has already announced its intention to appeal, though in the meantime, we'll see if they continue to sell the products (and pay the additional $79,000 daily fine if they do!), or if the popular items disappear from their loyal auction-addicted public.

I am not an eBay couture hunter... but I know some people who are going to be pretty hot (not haute) about this one!

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