Study analyzes online marketplaces in Europe

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More than half of the major European online marketplaces have no dedicated measures against counterfeiting, according to a recent study. For brand protection, the diversified e‑commerce landscape also poses further challenges.

Online marketplaces in Europe have reportedly seen extraordinary growth in recent years. However, only less than half of the leading e‑commerce marketplaces in Europe apparently provide targeted measures against the sale of counterfeits. This is one result of the recent study European Marketplaces 2022, by the data analytics firm RetailX (available via, as reported by trade magazine WTR.

The study looks at the 15 largest e‑commerce marketplaces in Europe, based on their respective web traffic, and gathers key information on each of the marketplaces. According to the analysis, less than half of the platforms (42%) for which respective information was available offer dedicated measures for brand protection activities of intellectual property rights holders. These include, according to the study, the well-known operators AliExpress, Allegro, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.

In contrast, there are some often smaller e‑commerce platforms, which could be relevant or even leading especially in individual markets. These would include Otto, one of the most important online sales platforms in Germany with around seven million sellers; or, for example, with a strong market position in the Netherlands and around 50,000 active sellers. According to the analysis, neither of these offer dedicated anti-counterfeiting options for brand owners. However, some of the analyzed online marketplaces that apparently lack appropriate anti-counterfeiting measures would be less affected by the issue, the RetailX analysis says.

For effective brand protection on the Web, it is more than just a platform’s anti-counterfeiting mechanisms that are important to IP holders. For example, AliExpress reportedly has a reputation for being a counterfeit sales channel and offers certain anti-counterfeiting measures. However, the platform, which belongs to the well-known Alibaba Group, is comparatively sparsely used in Europe. This would illustrate that brand owners should take several factors into account when taking action against counterfeiting on the Internet.

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