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EBay victory clears way for cheaper goods

When L'Oreal decided to take Internet auction site eBay to court this was always going to be a battle of the Titans with a winner takes all scenario. The case centred round firstly, the increase in counterfeit goods which were being sold via eBay and other online auction sites and secondly, the attempt by companies such as L'Oreal to control the price at which their goods were sold online - thereby impacting upon the end price to consumers.

In a tense battle, the High Court today ruled in favour of eBay suggesting that it was not up to the company to monitor sales and set prices and also eBay could not be held responsible for counterfeit goods. This is a significant win for the UK consumer and is almost certain to lead to lower prices in the shops as companies such as L'Oreal look to compete with the online market.

Price restrictions are in many ways against best practice and best laws in the UK but the power of companies such as L'Oreal have seen them dictate who sells and at what price they charge for L'Oreal goods. While there are pros and cons on both sides, with a company such as L'Oreal putting significant money into their products, it is basically down to a free market, the principles of which have been upheld today.

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