Competition Watchdog Handed Power to Seize Rip-Off Sellers' Domains and Accounts

By Gary Cutlack on at

The Competition and Markets Authority has acquired a few new teeth with which to nibble the rogue traders of the nation, as it'll soon be able to seize the Amazon and eBay accounts of the most-complained-about sellers – and may even take control and possession of entire domain names, should they be deemed used for ill purposes.

The rules enter the books in June, when "online interface orders" will join the regulator's arsenal of tools, allowing it to order the closure of web sites or at least the dodgier sections thereof, with the added menace that entire domains of the worst offenders could be taken. Anything considered an "online platform" is up for seizing under the Consumer Protection (Enforcement) (Amendment etc.) Regulations 2020, which state the measures would be taken when "...there is a risk of serious harm to the collective interests of consumers and that no other available means would, by themselves, be wholly effective in stopping or preventing the infringement."

A court order will be needed first, though, so it should be a relatively rare occurrence. [The Register]