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AB-1790 Marketplaces: marketplace sellers.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 06/29/2019 04:00 AM
AB1790:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 28, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 07, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 12, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1790


Introduced by Assembly Member Wicks
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Cunningham)

February 22, 2019


An act to add Title 1.4C (commencing with Section 1749.7) to Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code, relating to business.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1790, as amended, Wicks. Marketplaces: marketplace sellers.
Existing law, the Uniform Commercial Code—Sales, generally regulates transactions in goods, as defined. Existing law also generally prescribes obligations arising from particular transactions.
This bill would require a marketplace, as defined, to ensure that their terms and conditions regarding commercial relationships with marketplace sellers meet specified requirements, including that the terms and conditions are drafted in plain and intelligible language. The bill would define “marketplace seller” for these purposes as a person residing in the state who has an agreement with a marketplace and makes retail sales of services or tangible personal property through a marketplace owned, operated, or controlled by that marketplace. If a marketplace decides to suspend or terminate a marketplace seller, the bill would require the marketplace to provide the marketplace seller with a written statement of reasons for that decision, as specified. The bill would prohibit a marketplace from destroying products in its possession that are the property of a marketplace seller without offering the marketplace seller a reasonable opportunity to retrieve the marketplace seller’s property. The bill would also require marketplaces to require marketplace sellers to purchase and maintain liability insurance, as provided.
The bill would state that its provisions are severable.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Title 1.4C (commencing with Section 1749.7) is added to Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code, to read:

TITLE 1.4C. Clarity of Marketplace Terms and Conditions and Dispute Resolution Minimum Fairness

1749.7.
 (a) Every marketplace shall ensure that their terms and conditions regarding commercial relationships with marketplace sellers meet all of the following requirements:
(1) Are drafted in plain and intelligible language.
(2) Are easily available online for marketplace sellers at all stages of their commercial relationship with the marketplace, including, but not limited to, during the stage prior to the formation of a contract.
(3) Set out the grounds for decisions to retain, or refuse to disburse, funds in its possession belonging to a marketplace seller pending investigation or resolution of a dispute between the marketplace and the marketplace seller. seller and the objective grounds for suspending or terminating a marketplace seller from participating in the marketplace.
(4) If the marketplace permits the possibility to influence ranking or preferential placement within the marketplace of tangible personal property or services sold by marketplace sellers through the marketplace, the terms and conditions shall include a description of those possibilities and of the effects of the ranking or preferential placement, whether ranking or preferential placement may be purchased, and the price of that ranking or preferential placement.
(b) If a marketplace decides to suspend or terminate, in whole or in part, a marketplace seller, the marketplace shall provide the marketplace seller, without undue delay, with a written statement of reasons for that decision. The written statement of reasons shall refer to the specific facts and circumstances that led to the decision and the terms or conditions that permit the suspension or termination.
(c) A marketplace shall not destroy products in its possession that are the property of a marketplace seller without offering the marketplace seller a reasonable opportunity to retrieve the marketplace seller’s property.
(d) A marketplace shall require marketplace sellers to purchase and maintain liability insurance to cover claims by customers related to the services or tangible personal property sold by the marketplace seller through the marketplace. A marketplace shall disclose the requirement in its terms and conditions consistent with subdivision (a) and shall establish reasonable and effective policies and practices to ensure that the requirement remains in effect.

(b)

(e) For purposes of this section, “marketplace” means a physical or electronic place, including, but not limited to, a store, booth, internet website, catalog, television or radio broadcast, or a dedicated sales software application, where a marketplace seller sells or offers for sale services or tangible personal property for delivery in this state, regardless of whether the tangible personal property or the marketplace has a physical presence in the state.

(c)

(f) For purposes of this section, “marketplace seller” means a person residing in the state who has an agreement with a marketplace and makes retail sales of services or tangible personal property through a marketplace owned, operated, or controlled by that marketplace.
(g) For purposes of this section, “ranking” means the relative prominence given to the tangible personal property or services offered to consumers through a marketplace, as organized or communicated to those consumers by the marketplace, irrespective of the technological means used for that organization or communication.

SEC. 2.

 The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.