The free market has transformed the way Americans shop. Consumers are benefiting from new retail trends in both physical retail and e-commerce. Part of this transformation is the exponential growth of online marketplaces run by companies like Amazon and Facebook. While these dominant platforms have the power to connect legitimate small businesses with new customers, they lack oversight and are being exploited by unscrupulous sellers and criminals selling stolen and counterfeit goods.
The time is now for Congress to modernize consumer protection laws by requiring online marketplaces to collect and verify basic seller information, and for sellers to provide that information to consumers. Basic transparency and verification requirements will not hurt legitimate businesses but will make it harder for bad actors to deceive consumers. It will also provide law enforcement with an important tool to track and prevent these illicit sales. Now is the time to enact common-sense measures that promote safety, transparency, and accountability.
The Nebraska Retail Federation supports LB 603, similar legislation to the federal INFORM Act.