Amazon may soon be more responsible for more products than the ones it sells directly. According to at LA Times, a California state appeals court ruled that Amazon is responsible for the safety of third-party products available in its market following a 2015 hoverboard Fire. While the internet giant argued that it only linked buyers and sellers, judges determined there was a “direct link” in the distribution that held the company accountable.
The company won the initial decision. At the time, a judge sided with Amazon that it was simply a matter of advertising sellers’ products rather than participating in sales.
In a statement to Time, Amazon said it is “investing heavily” in product safety by screening out sellers and products. he also monitors the store for clues of problems. The company declined to comment on the appeals court ruling, including whether it intended to challenge the ruling in the state’s Supreme Court.
The decision, if it holds, could force Amazon to change its policy. The tech giant may need to step up its vendor verification process and be prepared to accept responsibility for security concerns, including lawsuits. Other stores with similar third-party markets are expected to follow suit. That, in turn, could be good news for shoppers: you might see less fragmented products in online stores and have a better chance of fixing security issues.
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