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Amazon Fights To Avoid Being Classed A ‘Distributor’

Last week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission sued Amazon, attempting to force the company to participate in recalls of a number of defective products sold on its marketplace.

In doing so, the Commission is also attempting to get a ruling that Amazon is officially a distribution on consumer products. If it succeeds in getting this passed under federal law, it could be a game changer.

Under that designation, Amazon would be responsible for all products sold on its website, meaning it would be subjected to all mandatory recalls on behalf of its sellers. It would also hold the company liable for any products that are defective or cause harm. This will greatly increase costs for the Seattle-based behemoth.

At the moment, Amazon is classed as both a third-part seller and a fulfillment company, a legal distinction that means they are not responsible for anything sold through the Amazon marketplace.

Amazon claims it already takes responsibility, despite not being legally bound to do so.

“Amazon has always believed that we have an obligation to our customers to provide the safest shopping experience,” said company spokesperson Mary Kate McCarthy. “This is why Amazon has messaged customers and covered the cost of refunds when selling partners failed to engage with regulators about recalls.”



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