Technology

Amazon is working with authorities companies to research counterfeits

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An Amazon fulfillment center in Frankenthal.

Thorsten Wagner | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon is working with a U.S. government surveillance group to conduct fake inspections, the company said Tuesday, in an effort to resolve an issue that has plagued the e-commerce platform for years.

The company will work with the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordinating Center, a task force overseen by the United States' Immigration and Customs Service, to “analyze data and conduct targeted inspections to prevent counterfeit products from entering the US US supply chain, "said Amazon. Any evidence gathered from their inspections will be used to expand the ongoing investigation and prosecute bad actors.

The initiative, known as Operation Fulfilled Action, is led by Amazon's Counterfeit Crime Division. The team was formed earlier this year and consists of former federal prosecutors, investigators, and data analysts who search the website for information and work with federal attorneys.

Amazon's marketplace, which was launched in 2000, now accounts for more than half of the company's total sales. While it has been a major driver of Amazon's overall business, it has also had a number of issues related to counterfeiting, as well as unsafe and expired goods. Counterfeit goods have been particularly damaging to Amazon's relationships with some brands like Nike and Birkenstock, which left Amazon after a surge in counterfeiting.

The company has stepped up its efforts to root out counterfeits on the platform. It has prosecuted counterfeiters in court, instituted various programs to search for and detect the sale of counterfeit goods, and continues to block millions of suspicious accounts and listings for bad actors.

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Katherine Clark