Amazon accused of illegal suppression of competitors in Europe

Amazon accused of illegal suppression of competitors in Europe

The European Union has accused Amazon of harming retail competition by claiming that the American company is using its size, power, and data at its disposal to gain an unfair advantage over third-party sellers operating on its online platform.

The move comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened Amazon’s role in the global economy and online sales have skyrocketed due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

The investigation began last July following complaints from competitors. The regulator said the charges relate to Amazon’s activities in France and Germany. During the investigation, officials analyzed 80 million transactions and viewed 100 million items on the Amazon platform.

The European Commission examined Amazon’s actions in two ways: on the one hand, as a marketplace for sellers, and on the other, as a competitor. Consideration was given to issues such as the company’s collection of data on competitors using its platform. The investigation revealed that Amazon uses this confidential information to judge what is in demand and what is not in order to take this into account when promoting its own products.

“Leveraging this data allows Amazon to focus on selling its top-selling products and also marginalizes third-party sellers and limits their growth opportunities,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust commissioner, said.

Amazon disagrees with the allegations.

“Amazon accounts for less than 1% of the global retail market and there are larger retailers in every country we operate in,” the company said.

The final EU decision can be made next year. If a company is found guilty of violating antitrust rules, it faces a fine of up to 10% of its turnover (not only in Europe, but around the world).

On Tuesday, the European Commission also launched a new investigation into Amazon over possible preferences the internet giant gives itself over third-party sellers using Amazon’s logistics and shipping services.

Amazon accused of illegal suppression of competitors in Europe

Leave a Comment