Amazon Avoids Massive Fine, Reaches Settlement With European Union Over Use of Seller Data


Amazon reached a settlement with the European Union on Tuesday in two antitrust probes after addressing concerns over its use of sellers’ data, in a move that will save it from a fine of up to 10 percent of its global turnover.

In the first case, Amazon faced charges of using its size, power and data to push its own products to gain an unfair advantage over rival merchants that also use its platform.

The company has agreed not to use sellers’ data for its own competing retail business and its private label products.

The second case was about the equal treatment of sellers when ranking their offers for the “buy box” on its website that generates the bulk of its sales.

Amazon has agreed to set up a second prominently displayed buy box for a rival product if it differs substantially in price and delivery from the product in the first box.

“The Commission found that Amazon’s final commitments will ensure that Amazon does not use marketplace seller data for its own retail operations and that it grants non-discriminatory access to Buy Box and Prime,” the European Commission, which oversees fair competition in the 27-nation EU, said.

“We are pleased that we have addressed the European Commission’s concerns and resolved these matters,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

The Commission said Amazon’s final commitments will remain in force for seven years in relation to Prime and the display of the second competing Buy Box offer, and five years for the remaining parts of the commitments.

“Under supervision of the Commission, an independent trustee will be in charge of monitoring the implementation and compliance with the commitments,” it said.

The Commission said it could impose a fine of up to 10 percent of Amazon’s total annual turnover if the company were to breach the commitments.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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