Amazon is fighting against laws that could force it to verify third-party sellers' identities and give out their contact information

Amazon is fighting against laws that could force it to verify third-party sellers' identities and give out their contact information
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images
  • Amazon has been lobbying against a new form of legislation called INFORM acts, Axios reports.
  • These acts would force e-commerce sites to verify third-party sellers' identities and provide contact information to customers.
  • Amazon and others argue the legislation would jeopardize third-party sellers' privacy.

Amazon has lobbied against new laws that would force it to investigate third-party sellers' identities more thoroughly, and share contact details for them with customers, Axios reports.

Amazon is fighting against a specific type of new legislation called INFORM acts, which have been proposed both at state and Congressional levels, per Axios.

These acts have been supported by retailers including Home Depot and Walgreens, and if passed they would require online retailers to verify the identity of third-party sellers and provide customers with contact details for the sellers.

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Amazon, along with fellow e-retailers Etsy and eBay, argues that the legislation endangers the privacy of third-party sellers.

"The INFORM Act favors large brick-and-mortar retailers, at the expense of small businesses that sell online, while doing nothing to prevent fraud and abuse or hold bad actors accountable," an Amazon spokesperson told Axios.


This week Amazon achieved a partial victory - the legislation was not attached to a sweeping tech and science funding bill that passed the Senate. The new US Innovation and Competition Act is aimed at keeping the US tech sector competitive with China. It still has to pass the House, and Axios notes that amendments that include INFORM legislation are still possible.

Amazon's spokesperson addressed this possibility in a statement to Axios. "Like many other companies, including online retailers and small businesses that sell online, we had concerns with attaching controversial legislation pushed by big-box retailers to the broader China bill," the spokesperson said.

Amazon confirmed in July last year that it would start publicly listing the names and addresses of US-based third-party sellers to help tackle counterfeiting on its platform, following a report by Insider. The company announced in May that it seized and destroyed over 2 million counterfeit goods over the course of 2020.

Amazon was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Insider.