European Union files formal antitrust charges against Amazon, claiming retailer abused its position to compete with third-party companies using its platform Officials, led by competition chief Margrethe Vestager, believe there is sufficient evidence to charge the company for the misuse This data, according to the claim, was used by Amazon to create copier products to undermine these independent businesses, especially in large markets like France and Germany.
At the same time, regulators have opened a second investigation into favorable treatment around the “Buy Box” and “Prime Label” Officials suspect that independent sellers who use Amazon’s own logistics network are in able to use features that those with their own logistics networks don’t Vestager said he wanted these independents to be able to « compete on substance » rather than on any sort of lockdown
Amazon, very generally, is a retailer itself, but it’s also a retail platform that allows third parties to sell their products side by side with those of Amazon. These independent, unaffiliated companies can even rely on Amazon’s extensive logistics and warehousing network.But there’s a catch: If a small seller makes a surprisingly popular product, Amazon can see the sales data on their website. Amazon’s own system might be tempted to make a similar product and direct sales to it
We have come to the preliminary conclusion that @amazon illegally abused its dominant position as a marketplace service provider in DE & EN @amazon may have used sensitive data on a large scale to compete with small Now retailers for @amazon to answer @EU_Competition
This is not a guess, and the Wall Street Journal published a report in April claiming the company was doing just that. Former employees claimed Amazon could not only identify hot trends, but also use this data to set the price of its own products competitively In one example, the makers of a popular car trunk organizer found that, shortly after, Amazon launched a very similar product as part of its private label offering.
Now Amazon has said using third-party seller data in this way is against its own policies and has asserted this position in Congress Amazon has also stated that the practice of producing « private label » products is used by all major retailers and does not pose a threat to the independent brands they sell. But regulators in the US and Europe are not happy with this response and are demanding more information In July 2019, the EU opened a formal investigation to see if what Amazon was doing was violating local competition rules, the accusations today being the result of this procedure
This is not the first time Vestager has led an assault on Amazon and three years ago he accused the company of receiving state aid from Luxembourg in connection with the work of the EU to maintain free market, member countries cannot offer favorable treatment to businesses Authorities found that Luxembourg had handed over around 250 million euros ($ 294 million) in illegal state aid
An Amazon spokesperson responded, saying the company disagreed with the EU’s claims and that it « would do everything to ensure it understood precisely factsThey added that Amazon « represents less than 1% of the global retail market » and that « no company cares about small businesses anymore. »
« We do not agree with the preliminary assertions of the European Commission and will continue to do everything possible to ensure that it has an accurate understanding of the facts. Amazon represents less than 1% of the global retail market and there are bigger retailers in every country we operate in No company cares more about small businesses or has done more to support them over the past two decades than Amazon There are over 150,000 European companies that sell in our stores which generate tens of billions of euros in revenue per year and have created hundreds of thousands of jobs »Amazon spokesperson
There is no time scale for the duration of this action, but a number of previous European Commission investigations have lasted for several years
European Union, Amazoncom, Competition Law, Margrethe Vestager
EbeneInfo – AU – European Commission indicts Amazon for misuse of seller data
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