New York (The Verge) — How Amazon escapes liability for the riskiest products on its site trib.al/sKHCAYQ.
Amazon’s Marketplace is a massive business connecting third-party sellers with buyers, but when a product malfunctions, Amazon isn’t held liable for the damage.
For years, the online retail company has argued that many of its customers are simply passing through to use its platform — that the buyer and seller of the product are connecting, and Amazon is merely a passing intermediary.
The argument has given Amazon a crucial legal defense, allowing it to completely sidestep the liability that conventional retailers face. For the most part, courts have been satisfied by the claim, and Amazon has been able to expand its third-party seller business into hundreds of billions of dollars in sales.
Recently, though, that wall has shown signs of fracturing. Some courts and scholars have questioned exactly how far those protections should go, and whether Amazon is truly as hands-off a player as it would like to seem. — Colin Lecher/@verge