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their spending on our products and services. In addition, Brexit could lead to legal uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the U.K. determines which E.U. laws
to replace or replicate, and those laws and regulations may be cumbersome, difficult or costly in terms of compliance. Any of these effects of Brexit, among others, could adversely affect our
business, financial condition, operating results and cash flows.
We face legal uncertainties relating to the Internet in general and to the e-commerce industry in particular
and may become subject to costly government regulation.
The laws and regulations related to the Internet and e-commerce are evolving. These laws and regulations relate to issues such as user privacy,
freedom of expression, pricing, fraud, quality of products and services, taxation, advertising, intellectual property rights and information security. Laws governing issues such as property ownership,
copyrights and other intellectual property issues, taxation, libel and defamation, obscenity and personal privacy could also affect our business. Laws adopted prior to the advent of the Internet may
not contemplate or address the unique issues of
the Internet and related technologies and it is not clear how they will apply. Current and future laws and regulations could increase our cost of doing business and/or decrease the demand for our
Our auction business may be subject to a variety of additional costly government regulations.
Many states and other jurisdictions have regulations governing the conduct of traditional "auctions" and the liability of traditional
"auctioneers" in conducting auctions, as well as the handling of property by "secondhand dealers", which may apply to online auction services. In addition, certain states have laws or regulations that
expressly apply to online auction services. We expect to continue to incur costs in complying with these laws and could be subject to fines or other penalties for any failure to comply with these
laws. We may be required to make changes in our business to comply with these laws, which could increase our costs, reduce our revenue, cause us to prohibit the listing of certain items or restrict
certain listing formats in some locations, or otherwise adversely affect our financial condition or operating results.
addition, the law regarding the potential liability of an online auction service for the activities of its users is not clear. Users of our websites may not always comply with our
terms and conditions or with laws and regulations applicable to them and their transactions. It is possible that we may be subject to allegations of civil or criminal liability for any unlawful
activities conducted by sellers or buyers. Any costs we incur as a result of any such allegations, or as a result of actual or alleged unlawful transactions using our marketplaces, or in our efforts
to prevent any such transactions, may harm our opportunities for future revenue growth. In addition, any negative publicity we receive regarding any such transactions or allegations may damage our
reputation, our ability to attract new sellers and buyers and our business.
Certain categories of merchandise sold on our marketplaces are subject to government restrictions.
We sell merchandise, such as scientific instruments, information technology equipment and aircraft parts, that is subject to export control and
economic sanctions laws, among other laws, imposed by the United States and other governments. Such restrictions include the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, the International Traffic in Arms
Regulations, and economic sanctions and embargo laws administered by the Office of the Foreign Assets Control Regulations. These restrictions prohibit us from, among other things, selling property to
(1) persons or entities that appear on lists of restricted or prohibited parties maintained by the United States or other governments or (2) countries, regimes, or nationals that are the
target of applicable economic sanctions or other embargoes. In addition, for specified categories of property sold under our contracts with the DoD, we are required to (1) obtain an end-use
certificate from the prospective buyer describing the nature of the buyer's business, describing the expected disposition and specific end-use of the property, and acknowledging the