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A03035
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1594
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY TOMLINSON, SANKEY, THOMAS, MILLARD, TOPPER,
SCHROEDER, FARRY, STAATS, POLINCHOCK, KAIL, MOUL, BURNS,
QUINN AND DELOZIER, JUNE 10, 2021
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER AFFAIRS, JUNE 10, 2021
AN ACT
Amending the act of December 17, 1968 (P.L.1224, No.387),
entitled "An act prohibiting unfair methods of competition
and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of
any trade or commerce, giving the Attorney General and
District Attorneys certain powers and duties and providing
penalties," providing for disclosure of information by online
marketplaces to inform customers collection, verification and
disclosure of information by online marketplaces to inform
consumers.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of December 17, 1968 (P.L.1224, No.387),
known as the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law,
is amended by adding a section to read:
Section 9.4. Disclosure of Information by Online
Marketplaces to Inform Customers.--(a) The following shall
apply:
(1) An online marketplace shall require that a high-volume
third-party seller on the online marketplace provide the online
marketplace with all of the following information within twenty-
four hours of becoming a high-volume third-party seller:
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(i) Accurate bank account information that has been
confirmed directly by the online marketplace, a payment
processor or other third party contracted by the online
marketplace. If the high-volume third-party seller does not have
a bank account, the name of the payee for payments issued by the
online marketplace to the high-volume third-party seller. The
high-volume third-party seller may provide the bank account or
payee information under this subclause to the online
marketplace, a payment processor or other third party contracted
by the online marketplace to maintain the information. The
online marketplace may obtain the bank account or payee
information under this subclause on demand from a payment
processor or other third party contracted by the online
marketplace.
(ii) Contact information, including all of the following:
(A) If the high-volume third-party seller is an individual,
a copy of a government-issued photo identification for the
individual that includes the individual's name and physical
address.
(B) If the high-volume third-party seller is not an
individual, all of the following:
(I) A copy of a government-issued photo identification for
an individual acting on behalf of the high-volume third-party
seller that includes the individual's name and physical address.
(II) A copy of a government-issued record or tax document
that includes the business name and physical address of the
high-volume third-party seller.
(III) A working email address and working telephone number
for the high-volume third-party seller.
(C) A business tax identification number. If the high-volume
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third-party seller does not have a business tax identification
number, a taxpayer identification number.
(D) Whether the high-volume third-party seller is
exclusively advertising or offering the consumer product on the
online marketplace or currently advertising or offering for sale
the same consumer product on any other Internet websites other
than the online marketplace.
(2) The online marketplace shall verify the information
provided by the high-volume third-party seller under clause (1)
and each change to the information within three days. If the
high-volume third-party seller provides a copy of a valid
government-issued tax document under clause (1)(ii)(B)(II),
information contained within the tax document shall be presumed
to be verified as of the date of issuance of such record or
document.
(3) The online marketplace shall, on at least an annual
basis, notify the high-volume third-party seller on the online
marketplace that the high-volume third-party seller must inform
the online marketplace of each change to the information
provided by the high-volume third-party seller under clause (1)
within three days of receiving the notice under this clause. As
part of the notice under this clause, the online marketplace
shall instruct the high-volume third-party seller to
electronically certify that the high-volume third-party seller's
information under clause (1) is unchanged or that the high-
volume third-party seller is providing a change to the
information. If the online marketplace becomes aware that the
high-volume third-party seller has not complied with the
provisions of this clause, the online marketplace shall suspend
the high-volume third-party seller's participation on the online
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marketplace until the high-volume third-party seller complies
with the provisions of this clause.
(b) The following shall apply:
(1) Except as provided under clause (2), an online
marketplace shall require a high-volume third-party seller on
the online marketplace to provide all of the following
information:
(i) The identity of the high-volume third-party seller,
including all of the following information:
(A) The full name of the high-volume third-party seller.
(B) The full physical address of the high-volume third-party
seller.
(C) Whether the high-volume third-party seller engages in
the manufacturing, importing or reselling of consumer products.
(D) Contact information for the high-volume third-party
seller, including a functioning telephone number and email
address. The online marketplace may provide the functioning
email address to the high-volume third-party seller by the
online marketplace.
(ii) Any other information determined to be necessary by the
online marketplace to address any potential circumvention or
evasion of the requirements under this clause.
(2) Subject to clause (3), upon the request of the high-
volume third-party seller, the online marketplace may provide
for partial disclosure of the identity information required
under clause (1) in any of the following situations:
(i) If the high-volume third-party seller demonstrates to
the online marketplace that the high-volume third-party seller
does not have a business address and only has a residential
street address, the online marketplace may:
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(A) direct the high-volume third-party seller to disclose
only the country and, if applicable, the state where the high-
volume third-party seller resides on the product listing; and
(B) inform consumers that there is no business address
available for the high-volume third-party seller and that
consumer inquiries should be submitted to the high-volume third-
party seller by telephone or email.
(ii) If the high-volume third-party seller demonstrates to
the online marketplace that the seller is a business that has a
physical address for product returns, the online marketplace may
direct the high-volume third-party seller to disclose the high-
volume third-party seller's physical address for product
returns.
(iii) If the high-volume third-party seller demonstrates to
the online marketplace that the high-volume third-party seller
does not have a telephone number other than a personal telephone
number, the online marketplace shall inform consumers that there
is no telephone number available for the high-volume third-party
seller and that consumer inquiries should be submitted to the
high-volume third-party seller's email.
(3) If an online marketplace becomes aware that a high-
volume third-party seller has made a false representation to the
online marketplace in order to justify the provision of a
partial disclosure under clause (2) or that a high-volume third-
party seller who has requested and received a provision for a
partial disclosure under clause (2) has not provided responsive
answers within a reasonable time period to consumer inquiries
submitted to the high-volume third-party seller by telephone or
email, the online marketplace shall withdraw the provision for
partial disclosure under clause (2) and require the full
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disclosure of the high-volume third-party seller's identity
information required under clause (1) within three business
days' notice to the high-volume third-party seller.
(4) The online marketplace shall disclose to a consumer, in
a conspicuous manner on the product listing of the high-volume
third-party seller, a reporting mechanism that allows for
electronic and telephonic reporting of suspicious marketplace
activity to the online marketplace and a message encouraging
the consumer to report suspicious activity to the online
marketplace.
(c) In addition to the requirements under subsection (b), an
online marketplace that warehouses, distributes or otherwise
fulfills a consumer product order shall disclose to the consumer
the identification of a high-volume third-party seller supplying
the consumer product if different than the seller listed on the
product listing page.
(d) Violations of this section shall be declared unlawful
under section 3 of this act and shall be subject to the
penalties imposed under this act.
(e) A political subdivision may not establish, mandate or
otherwise require an online marketplace to verify information
from a high-volume third-party seller on a one-time or ongoing
basis or disclose information to consumers.
(f) The Bureau of Consumer Protection within the Office of
Attorney General may promulgate regulations regarding the
collection and verification of information from high-volume
third-party sellers under subsections (a) and (b).
(g) As used in this section:
"Consumer product" means tangible personal property that is
distributed in commerce and is normally used for personal,
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family or household purposes, including tangible personal
property intended to be attached to or installed in real
property without regard to whether the tangible personal
property is attached or installed.
"High-volume third-party seller" means a participant in an
online marketplace who is a third-party seller and who, in any
continuous twelve-month period during the previous twenty-four
months, has entered into two hundred or more discrete sales or
transactions of new or unused consumer products resulting in the
accumulation of an aggregate total of five thousand dollars
($5,000) or more in gross revenues.
"Online marketplace" means an electronically based or
accessed platform that hosts high-volume third-party sellers and
includes features which allow for, facilitate or enable high-
volume third-party sellers to engage in the sale, purchase,
payment, storage, shipping or delivery of a consumer product in
the United States.
"Seller" means a person who sells, offers to sell or
contracts to sell a consumer product through an online
marketplace.
"Third-party seller" means a seller, independent of an
operator, facilitator or owner of an online marketplace, who
sells, offers to sell or contracts to sell a consumer product in
the United States through an online marketplace. The term shall
not include a seller who:
(1) is operating as a business entity that has made the
business entity's name, business address and working contact
information available to the general public;
(2) has an ongoing contractual relationship with the owner
of the online marketplace to provide for the manufacture,
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distribution, wholesaling or fulfillment of the shipment of
consumer products; and
(3) has provided verified information under subsection (a).
"Verify" means to confirm information provided to an online
marketplace by the use of any of the following:
(1) A third-party or proprietary identity verification
system that has the capability to confirm a seller's name, email
address, physical address and telephone number.
(2) A combination of a two-factor authentication, a public
records search and the presentation of a government-issued
identification.
Section 9.4. Collection, Verification and Disclosure of
Information by Online Marketplaces to Inform Consumers.--(a) An
online marketplace shall require that a high-volume third-party
seller on the online marketplace's platform provide the online
marketplace with the following information not later than ten
days after qualifying as a high-volume third-party seller on the
platform:
(1) A bank account number or, if the high-volume third-party
seller does not have a bank account, the name of the payee for
payments issued by the online marketplace to the high-volume
third-party seller. The required bank account or payee
information may be provided by the high-volume third-party
seller to any of the following:
(i) The online marketplace.
(ii) A payment processor or other third party contracted by
the online marketplace to maintain the information if the online
marketplace ensures that the online marketplace can obtain the
information on demand from the payment processor or other third
party.
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(2) Contact information for the high-volume third-party
sellers as follows:
(i) If the high-volume third-party seller is an individual,
the individual's name.
(ii) If the high-volume third-party seller is not an
individual, one of the following forms of contact information:
(A) A copy of a valid government-issued identification for
an individual acting on behalf of the high-volume third-party
seller, including the individual's name.
(B) A copy of a valid government-issued record or tax
document, including the business name and physical address of
the high-volume third-party seller.
(iii) A business tax identification number or, if the high-
volume third-party seller does not have a business tax
identification number, a taxpayer identification number.
(iv) A current working telephone number.
(v) A current working email address.
(b) An online marketplace shall have all of the following
duties:
(1) Periodically, but not less than annually, notify a high-
volume third-party seller on the online marketplace's platform
of the requirement to keep the information collected under
subsection (a) current.
(2) Require a high-volume third-party seller on the online
marketplace's platform to, not later than ten days after
receiving the notice under clause (1), electronically certify
any of the following:
(i) The high-volume third-party seller has provided a change
to the information under subsection (a) to the online
marketplace.
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(ii) There have been no changes to the high-volume third-
party seller's information under subsection (a).
(c) If a high-volume third-party seller does not comply with
subsection (b), the online marketplace shall, after providing
the high-volume third-party seller with a written or an
electronic notice and an opportunity to comply with subsection
(b) not later than ten days after the issuance of the notice,
suspend the future sales activity of the high-volume third-party
seller until the high-volume third-party seller complies with
subsection (b).
(d) An online marketplace shall verify all of the following:
(1) The information collected under subsection (a) not later
than ten days after the collection.
(2) A change to the information under subsection (a) not
later than ten days after being notified of the change by a
high-volume third party seller under subsection (b)(2)(i).
(e) If a high-volume third-party seller provides a copy of a
valid government-issued record or tax document under subsection
(a)(2)(ii)(B), the information contained in the record or tax
document shall be presumed to be verified as of the date of
issuance of the record or tax document.
(f) Data collected solely to comply with the requirements of
this section may not be used for any other purpose unless
required by Federal or State law. An online marketplace shall
implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and
practices, including administrative, physical and technical
safeguards, appropriate to the nature of the data collected
under this section and the purposes for which the data will be
used, to protect the data from unauthorized use, disclosure,
access, destruction or modification.
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(g) An online marketplace shall require a high-volume third-
party seller that has an aggregate total of twenty thousand
dollars ($20,000) or more in annual gross revenues on the online
marketplace and uses the online marketplace's platform to do all
of the following:
(1) Provide the information specified under subsection (h)
to the online marketplace.
(2) Disclose the information specified under subsection (h)
to a consumer in a conspicuous manner in all of the following:
(i) The order confirmation message or other document or
communication made to the consumer after a purchase is
finalized.
(ii) The consumer's account transaction history.
(h) Except as provided under subsection (i), a high-volume
third-party specified under subsection (g) shall provide and
disclose all of the following information in accordance with
subsection (g):
(1) The identity of the high-volume third-party seller,
including the full name of the high-volume third-party seller,
which may include the high-volume third-party seller's name or
company name or the name by which the high-volume third-party
seller or company operates on the online marketplace.
(2) The physical address of the high-volume third-party
seller.
(3) The contact information for the high-volume third-party
seller to allow for the direct, unhindered communication with
the high-volume third-party sellers by a user of the online
marketplace, including any of the following:
(i) A current working telephone number.
(ii) A current working email address.
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(iii) Any other means of direct electronic messaging,
including messaging provided by the online marketplace.
(4) Whether the high-volume third-party seller used a
different seller than listed on the product listing, prior to
purchase, to supply a consumer product to a consumer and, upon
the request of an authenticated purchaser, the information
specified under clauses (1), (2) and (3) relating to the
different seller.
(i) Subject to the limitations under subsection (j), upon
the request of a high-volume third-party seller, an online
marketplace may provide for the partial disclosure of the
information specified under subsection (h)(1), (2) and (3) to a
consumer in accordance with the following:
(1) If the high-volume third-party seller certifies to the
online marketplace that the high-volume third-party seller does
not have a business address and only has a residential street
address, or has a combined business and residential address, the
online marketplace may do any of the following:
(i) Disclose to the consumer only the country and, if
applicable, the state where the high-volume third-party seller
resides.
(ii) Inform the consumer that there is no business address
available for the high-volume third-party seller and that
consumer inquiries should be submitted to the high-volume third-
party seller by telephone , email or any other means of
electronic messaging provided to the high-volume third-party
seller by the online marketplace.
(iii) If the high-volume third-party seller certifies to the
online marketplace that the high-volume third-party seller is a
business that has a physical address for product returns, the
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online marketplace may disclose the high-volume third-party
seller's physical address for product returns.
(iv) If the high-volume third-party seller certifies to the
online marketplace that the high-volume third-party seller does
not have a telephone number other than a personal telephone
number, the online marketplace shall inform the consumer that
there is no telephone number available for the high-volume
third-party seller and consumer inquiries should be submitted to
the high-volume third-party seller's email address or other
means of electronic messaging provided to such seller by the
online marketplace.
(j) If an online marketplace becomes aware that a high-
volume third-party seller has made a false representation to the
online marketplace to justify a partial disclosure under
subsection (i) or the high-volume third-party seller has
requested and received an authorization for a partial disclosure
under subsection (i) and has not provided responsive answers
within a reasonable time frame to a consumer inquiry submitted
to the high-volume third-party in accordance with subsection
(i), the online marketplace shall, after providing the high-
volume third-party seller with a written or an electronic notice
and an opportunity to respond not later than ten days after the
issuance of the notice, suspend the future sales activity of the
high-volume third-party seller unless the high-volume third-
party seller consents to the disclosure of the identity
information required under subsection (h)(1), (2) and (3).
(k) An online marketplace shall, in a clear and conspicuous
manner, disclose to a consumer on product listing of a high-
volume third-party seller a reporting mechanism that allows for
electronic and telephonic reporting of suspicious marketplace
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activity to the online marketplace.
(l) If a high-volume third party seller does not comply with
the requirements to provide and disclose information under this
section, the online marketplace shall, after providing the
seller with a written or an electronic notice and an opportunity
to provide or disclose the information not later than ten days
after the issuance of the notice, suspend the future sales
activity of the high-volume third-party seller until the high-
volume third-party seller complies with the requirements under
this section.
(m) The following shall apply:
(1) If the Attorney General has a reason to believe that an
online marketplace has violated or is violating this section or
regulations promulgated under clause (3) that affect a resident
of this Commonwealth, the Attorney General may bring a civil
action to do any of the following:
(i) Enjoin an additional violation by the defendant.
(ii) Enforce compliance with this section or regulations
promulgated under clause (3).
(iii) Obtain civil penalties in an amount specified in the
regulations promulgated under clause (3).
(iv) Obtain other damages, restitution, compensation or
other remedies as authorized under the laws of this
Commonwealth.
(2) Nothing in clause (1) shall be construed to prevent the
Attorney General from exercising the powers conferred by the
laws of this Commonwealth to conduct investigations, administer
oaths or affirmations or compel the attendance of witnesses or
the production of documentary and other evidence.
(3) The Attorney General shall promulgate regulations as
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necessary to enforce the provisions of this section.
(n) A political subdivision may not establish, mandate or
otherwise require an online marketplace to collect or verify
information from a high-volume third-party seller or disclose
information to a consumer.
(o) As used in this section:
"Consumer product" means tangible personal property that is
distributed in commerce and is normally used for personal,
family or household purposes, including a personal property
intended to be attached to or installed in a real property
without regard to whether the personal property is attached or
installed.
"High-volume third-party seller" means a participant in an
online marketplace who is a third-party seller and who, for a
continuous period of twelve months during the previous twenty-
four months, has entered into at least two hundred discrete
sales or transactions of new or unused consumer products and an
aggregate total of at least five thousand dollars ($5,000) gross
revenues. For purposes of calculating the number of discrete
sales or transactions or the aggregate gross revenues under this
definition, an online marketplace shall only count sales or
transactions made through the online marketplace and for which
payment was processed by the online marketplace directly or
through the online marketplace's payment processor.
"Online marketplace" means any person or entity that operates
a consumer-directed, electronically based or accessed platform
that meets all of the following criteria:
(1) The platform includes features that allow for,
facilitate or enable a third-party seller to engage in the sale,
purchase, payment, storage, shipping or delivery of a consumer
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product in the United States.
(2) The platform is used by a third-party seller for
purposes specified under clause (1).
(3) The platform has a contractual or similar relationship
with a consumer to govern the consumer's use of the platform to
purchase a consumer product.
"Seller" means a person who sells, offers to sell or
contracts to sell a consumer product through an online
marketplace's platform.
"Third-party seller" means a seller, independent of an online
marketplace, who sells, offers to sell or contracts to sell a
consumer product in the United States through an online
marketplace. The term does not include any of the following:
(1) A seller who operates an online marketplace's platform.
(2) A business entity that meets all of the following
criteria:
(i) The business entity has made the business entity's name,
business address and contact information available to the
public.
(ii) The business entity has an ongoing contractual
relationship with an online marketplace to provide the online
marketplace with the manufacturing, distribution, wholesaling or
fulfillment of the shipment of a consumer product.
(iii) The business entity had provided the information
described under subsection (a) to an online marketplace, which
has been verified in accordance with this section.
"Verify" means to confirm information provided to an online
marketplace under this section, including the use of a method
that enables the online marketplace to reliably determine the
validity of the information corresponding to a seller or an
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individual acting on the seller's behalf and confirm the
information is not misappropriated or falsified.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 180 days.
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