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Ebay has agreed to pay $59mn to settle a civil case by US authorities that alleged machines used to manufacture drugs illegally were sold on its platform.

The deal relates to thousands of “pill presses” and encapsulating machines, as well as counterfeit dies, moulds and stamps allegedly sold via eBay, the Department of Justice said on Wednesday. 

It marks the first settlement with an ecommerce company in relation to violations of the US Controlled Substances Act, prosecutors added. 

“While eBay acted lawfully and denies the DOJ’s allegations, we determined that this agreement is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders as it avoids the costs, uncertainty and distraction associated with protracted litigation,” the company said in a statement.

It added that it had accrued for potential losses that will be funded with cash on hand.


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