Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of AmazonChristian Fernsby ▼ | July 17, 2019
The European Commission has 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.
European businesses Amazon warehouse
As part of its in-depth investigation 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. In particular, the Commission will focus on whether and how the use of accumulated marketplace seller data by Amazon as a retailer affects competition.
- the role of data in the selection of the winners of the “Buy Box” andthe impact of Amazon's potential use of competitively sensitive marketplace seller information on that selection. The “Buy Box” is displayed prominently on Amazon and allows customers to add items from a specific retailer directly into their shopping carts.
When providing a marketplace for independent sellers, Amazon continuously collects data about the activity on its platform. Based on the Commission's preliminary fact-finding, Amazon appears to use competitively sensitive information about marketplace sellers, their products and transactions on the marketplace.
The Commission will now carry out its in-depth investigation as a matter of priority. The opening of a formal investigation does not prejudge its outcome. ■