Internet auction bill in Nebraska on hold

It doesn’t appear Nebraska’s Senate Judiciary Committee will take action on LB 843 during the current legislative session.

Sen. Paul Schumacher says he proposed the bill in response to constituent concerns that some online auctions were being misrepresented as “unreserved” or “absolute.”

The bill would enable a bidder who feels an auction was not a legitimate, unreserved auction to ask the seller to produce a bid history so that the complainant could decide whether a sale failed for a legitimate reason or because of collusion.

The bidder could then bring action against the seller and would be awarded attorney’s fees if the court finds in his favor. If the court does not find in his favor, he would be required to pay the seller’s attorney’s fees.

As written, the bill would apply to auctions conducted in whole or in part on the Internet.

Supporters of the measure say the legislation is necessary to prevent bid rigging; however, critics, including the Board of Directors for the Nebraska Auctioneers Association, say it could place an undue record-keeping burden on sellers and Auctioneers.

Schumacher has encouraged representative of both sides to work together to resolve their differences and indicated that he may introduce a revised bill during the next legislative session, in 2013.

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Filed under Auction Industry, Auctioneer magazine, State Auctioneer Associations, Technology

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