Leading Internet marketplaces are under investigation for their handling of recalled products. The Congressional House Energy and Commerce Committee has directed inquiries to giants like Amazon, Ebay, Meta, Walmart, and other online retailers, probing their measures to curb the sale of recalled or prohibited items on their sites. The spotlight is especially on Meta, accused of not putting a halt to the sale of two recalled infant items: the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play sleeper and the Boppy Newborn Lounger, through Facebook Marketplace.
The Rock ‘n Play was recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) back in 2019, and the Newborn Lounger followed suit in 2021. Despite these recalls, the CPSC reveals that the rate of takedown requests (averaging around 1,000 per month) hasn’t diminished, and there is a concerning absence of “proactive measures” to prevent the sales. The Rock ‘n Play, in particular, has a tragic connection to approximately 100 infant fatalities. High-ranking members of Congress, like committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, are voicing fears that online platforms might be endangering children and the general public by inadequately stemming these sales.
The representatives from the House have demanded that these companies elucidate their existing strategies to halt sales of recalled items, including their staffing for this specific purpose. They’re also keen to understand what plans these corporations have for the future and if there is any legal ambiguity in handling these challenges. These letters further question the companies’ readiness to cooperate with the committee to devise a solution, with a firm deadline for responses set for August 31st.
A Meta spokesperson, in a statement to BuyTechBlog, countered that the sale of recalled products is not a problem exclusive to Facebook Marketplace, stressing that Meta views the matter with great severity and takes down listings that breach its regulations. Ebay also weighed in, stating to BuyTechBlog that it regards recalls with the utmost seriousness, employing a blend of AI and human investigators to identify possible unsafe listings. Ebay also expressed its wish to collaborate with the House committee on these matters.
This scrutiny occurs at a time when Amazon is on the brink of a potential antitrust legal battle regarding its sales conduct, and there’s a broadening push to examine the actions of technological behemoths. Meanwhile, Meta has been rolling back certain shopping features, like the discontinuation of live shopping on Facebook and Instagram. While these terminations are aligned with cost-saving measures, they also leave Meta’s remaining commerce ventures in a vulnerable state.
Update 8/22 5PM ET: The narrative has been refreshed with a statement from Ebay.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword recalled products
What companies are being questioned by the House Energy and Commerce Committee?
Amazon, Ebay, Meta, Walmart, and other online retailers are being questioned by the Congressional House Energy and Commerce Committee about their measures to curb the sale of recalled or prohibited items on their sites.
Which recalled child products are particularly in focus?
The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play sleeper and the Boppy Newborn Lounger are in focus, as Meta allegedly failed to stop the sales of these two recalled child products on Facebook Marketplace.
What has the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported about the recalls?
The CPSC recalled the Rock ‘n Play in 2019 and the Newborn Lounger in 2021. It reported that the takedown request rate hasn’t slowed, averaging around 1,000 per month, and there haven’t been any “proactive measures” to prevent sales.
What are the companies asked to detail to the House committee?
The House representatives have asked the companies to detail their current efforts to block sales of recalled products, plans for the future, and any legal uncertainty about handling these issues. They also want to know if the companies are willing to work with the committee on a solution.
How have Meta and Ebay responded to the inquiries?
A Meta spokesperson stressed that sales of recalled goods are not unique to Facebook Marketplace and that Meta takes down listings violating its rules. Ebay stated that it takes recalls very seriously, using AI and investigators to spot unsafe listings, and expressed hope to work with the House committee.
What other legal or business challenges are mentioned in the text?
The text mentions Amazon’s potential antitrust lawsuit over sales practices and Meta’s scaling back of shopping features, including the shutdowns of live shopping on Facebook and Instagram. These closures are part of cost-cutting efforts but leave Meta’s commerce initiatives in a fragile position.
More about fokus keyword recalled products
- House Energy and Commerce Committee
- Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
- Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Recall Information
- Boppy Newborn Lounger Recall Information
- Meta’s Statement on Recalled Products
- Ebay’s Policies on Recalled Products
- Amazon’s Legal Challenges
- Facebook and Instagram Shopping Features