By Scott Hall
The world’s largest retailer issues a detailed report on efforts to protect customers, businesses, and brands from fake and counterfeit goods.
Amazon just released its second Brand Protection Report, detailing its significant investment and successes in protecting customers, brands, and selling partners from counterfeits, fraud, and other forms of abuse.
Why it matters: Customers expect that when they purchase an item sold either by Amazon or by one of their third-party selling partners, they will receive an authentic product. While this seems straightforward, the challenge is immense, as international trade in counterfeit and pirated products amounted to as much as $464 billion a year, or 2.5% of world trade.
Big investments to protect consumers: In 2021, Amazon invested more than $900 million and employed more than 12,000 people – including machine learning scientists, software developers, and expert investigators – dedicated to protecting customers, brands, and selling partners.
Key highlights from Amazon’s Brand Protection Report:
- Deter and stop bad actors: Amazon stopped more than 2.5 million attempts to create fraudulent selling accounts selling accounts, preventing these bad actors from publishing a single product for sale. This is down from more than 6 million attempts the prior year, thanks to robust seller and product vetting and efforts to hold bad actors accountable that deterred them from attempting to sell on Amazon.
- Increase adoption of brand protection tools: Brand Registry, which unlocks a suite of tools to build and protect a brand on Amazon, grew to include more than 700,000 active brands, an increase of 40% from the prior year. At the same time, the average number of valid notices of infringement submitted by a brand in the Brand Registry decreased by more than 25% from the prior year, as continued growth in the adoption and efficacy of automated brand protection tools continue to reduce the number of issues that brands can find and report.
- Hold counterfeiters accountable: Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) continued to focus on ensuring that counterfeiters are held accountable—stopping them from abusing Amazon’s stores and other retailers across the industry. In 2021, Amazon’s CCU filed civil litigation against more than 170 counterfeiters in U.S. courts and either sued or referred more than 600 criminals for investigation in the U.S., U.K., E.U., and China, an increase of more than 300% over 2020.
- Identify and seize counterfeits: Amazon identified, seized, and appropriately disposed of more than 3 million counterfeit products, preventing them from harming customers or resold elsewhere in the retail supply chain. This includes counterfeits sent to Amazon’s fulfillment centers in an unsuccessful attempt to sell on Amazon. Amazon also worked with brands and law enforcement to find counterfeiters’ warehouses and facilities and get them shut down.
- Forge public-private partnerships: Amazon published a blueprint for public and private sector partnerships to stop counterfeiters, building on learning and progress in protecting Amazon’s store. This included the importance of information exchanges in the private sector to stop counterfeiters across retailers, partnering with customs to protect the borders, and the need for increased resources for law enforcement to prosecute counterfeiters.
- Support customers: Amazon educated consumers on why they should only purchase authentic products while proactively and reactively addressing issues if something went wrong. The support ensures customers can be confident they will always be taken care of.
Go further: Learn more about what Amazon is doing to protect consumers, brands, and businesses by viewing the Brand Protection Report.
About the author
Senior Director of External and Public Affairs, Global Innovation Policy Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce