AMAZON has been charged by EU regulators for distorting online retail competition at a hearing on Tuesday, November 10.
Under the watch of antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission has also opened a second investigation into Amazon’s business practices, after investigating its dual role – as a marketplace for merchants and also a rival seller – since July last year.
The investigation was triggered by complaints from traders about the company’s practices which also looked into how Amazon competitively uses sensitive merchant data to select winners for its “buy box”, a service that allows customers to add items from a specific retailer directly into their shopping carts.
Vestager, who has a reputation of being one of the world’s toughest antitrust regulators after imposing large fines on Alphabet’s Google and other companies, said: “We must ensure that dual-role platforms with market power, such as Amazon, do not distort competition.
“Data on the activity of third-party sellers should not be used to the benefit of Amazon when it act as a competitor to these sellers. The conditions of competition on the Amazon platform must also be fair.”
The second investigation is into the possible preferential treatment of Amazon’s own retail offers and those of marketplace sellers that use Amazon’s logistics and delivery services.
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