A case accusing eBay of facilitating the illicit sale of contact lenses has been thrown out of court.
The General Optical Council (GOC) files charges against eBay in August 2005, after it found several resellers offering contact lenses through the auction site. It accused the website of 'aiding and abetting' the sale of lenses, which are illegal unless sold by a licensed optician.
But the group declined to offer any evidence against the company, after lawyers discovered a European regulation which protected eBay's right not to monitor its own content. It also admitted that no contact lens had been sold on the site since it started legal proceedings.
'We recognise that eBay has put in place listing policies addressing these issues and appears to be ensuring that unlawful auctions of contact lenses are removed from the website,' said Peter Coe, GOC registrar.
A spokesperson for eBay said that the firm 'has an extensive notice and take down programme to try and ensure that illegal activity doesn't take place through its website'.