eBay, one of the world’s largest online marketplaces, has agreed to pay $59 million to settle allegations by the U.S. Department of Justice, as per the Wall Street Journal. The federal government accused eBay of selling thousands of pill presses and encapsulating machines, which is a violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
The settlement, announced on Wednesday, also includes eBay’s commitment to enhance its compliance program. This move is aimed at preventing the sale of equipment that can be used in the illegal manufacture of counterfeit pharmaceuticals.
The Justice Department’s investigation revealed that numerous buyers of pill presses on eBay also purchased counterfeit molds, stamps, or dies. These tools are often used to produce pills that closely resemble those made by legitimate pharmaceutical companies. Many of these buyers have been prosecuted for their involvement in trafficking counterfeit pills.
Despite the settlement, eBay has denied being subject to the Controlled Substances Act and has not admitted any liability regarding the allegations. The company’s response to the settlement agreement has not been publicly disclosed as of yet.
This settlement marks a significant milestone for the Justice Department, being the fourth-largest of its kind under the Controlled Substances Act and the first-ever with an e-commerce platform. The case highlights the challenges and responsibilities of online marketplaces in regulating the sale of potentially illegal items.