Should Amazon Be Responsible When Its Vendors’ Products Turn Out to Be Unsafe?

Critics of Amazon say legal precedents justify holding the company liable for third-party sellers’ products. Others say Amazon’s scale makes it unfeasible to do so.

What exactly is Amazon.com?

It began, of course, as a site with a very focused mission: a place where people could buy books. But over the years, not only has it widened its scope as a seller, it has evolved into a flea market, hosting countless third-party retailers in its marketplace.

Now, because of all those other merchants operating on...