More bad news for Amazon following the recent ruling by the EU who announced that the company had contravened its competition rules. The vendor who argues they do not exploit their position in the market have lost a further case as Italy fines Amazon €1.13 billion.
The antitrust authority in Italy believes that Amazon have been guilty of exploiting their market dominance. The company who prospered massively as a result of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns. For many people buying online became one of the few means by which they could obtain the products they were looking for.
The fine which is one of the largest in Europe has been levied on a retail giant that has made extraordinary profits over the last two years.
Amazon plans to appeal saying that “strongly disagreed” with the Italian regulator’s decision, going on to call the fines and proposed remedies “unjustified and disproportionate.”
Amazon’s defence is that more than half of the sales through the online platform are made by small and medium companies in Italy, who otherwise would have few other channels through which to sell their goods.
The Italian authorities believe that the requirement to use Amazon’s own delivery service, Fulfilment by Amazon, harms competitors and strengthens the company’s own position. Furthermore 3rd party sellers are prevented from gaining access to the company’s Prime loyalty programme.
In addition, sellers are unable to access special events, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day offers, further limiting their chances of selling their products. According to the regulator access to such specials and offers are crucial to boost sales, as is the opportunity to feature products.
Amazon has also been ordered, in addition to the fine, to grant sales benefits and visibility to all third-party sellers able to meet the standards of its Prime service. It must also publish that this is now the case and that sellers are able to take advantage of the situation.
This is not the first fine for Amazon, as Italy fines Amazon €1.13 billion there will be more authorities waiting in the wings to follow suit.
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