EU opens a formal antitrust investigation into Amazon

The European Commission on Wednesday opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Amazon's use of sensitive data from independent retailers who sell on its marketplace is in breach of EU competition rules.

"E-commerce has boosted retail competition and brought more choice and better prices. We need to ensure that large online platforms don't eliminate the benefits through anti-competitive behaviour. I have therefore decided to take a very close look at Amazon's business practices and its dual role as marketplace and retailer, to assess its compliance with EU competition rules,”Commissioner Margrethe Vestager (pictured), in charge of competition policy, announced.

The Commission will look into the standard agreements between Amazon and marketplace sellers, which allow Amazon's retail business to analyse and use third party seller data. The role of data in the selection of the winners of the “Buy Box” and the impact of Amazon's potential use of competitively sensitive marketplace seller information on that selection will also be on focus in the investigation.

 

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