A conflict of interests has been reported alleging that IACC’s President, Robert Barchiesi holds Alibaba’s stock and has close ties with an executive from the Chinese company. In a letter addressed to over 250 members, the coalition said it is suspending Alibaba’s membership and hiring an independent firm to review its corporate governance policies.

“Whether or not we are a member of the IACC, we will continue our productive and results-oriented relationships with brands, governments and all industry partners,” said Jennifer Kuperman, Head of International Corporate Affairs, Alibaba, stressing that companies such as Alibaba were important for solving the problem of counterfeiting.

However, to Deborah Greaves, a partner at Brutzkus Gubner law firm and board member of the coalition, there is an important ethical issue involved. “Everything the IACC does that makes Alibaba look better potentially drives up the price of the stock. As a board member, I would never have bought stock in Alibaba”.

As reported by ILM, after Michael Kors and Gucci announced on May 7 that it was also quitting the Washington based International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC). Those against Alibaba’s membership feared the company would use IACC to gain legitimacy while papering over fundamental flaws in how it does business.

Source: The Guardian