Has Amazon benefited from data from independent sellers hosted on its site? This is what the European Commission thinks, which this Tuesday accuses the American e-commerce giant of having violated European competition rules.
Brussels also announced, in a press release, that it had opened a second investigation for anti-competitive practices targeting the platform, suspecting preferential treatment of offers from Amazon or sellers in its marketplace using the delivery services of the American giant. The European Commission said it had “informed Amazon that it considers, on a preliminary basis, that this company has violated EU rules on anti-competitive practices by distorting competition in online retail markets”.
A lack of fairness pointed out by the Commission
The American company sells products directly on its website, but also provides independent sellers with a marketplace where they can sell to consumers. “Data relating to the activity of third-party sellers should not be used for the benefit of Amazon when it acts as a competitor of these sellers. The conditions of competition on the Amazon platform must also be level, ”said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
The announcement comes as Amazon is being criticized for taking advantage of the health crisis that is forcing many businesses to close their doors, while online sales are breaking records.
A twenty-year-old text
The company announced a tripling of its net profit to $ 6.3 billion in the third quarter, a surge in revenue from its items sold online by 38%, while sales of third-party companies using its platform increased by 55%.
The European Commission is also due to announce new legislation in December to better regulate the major Internet platforms. Europe will notably update its 20-year-old e-commerce directive, written when new digital players were not yet born or were taking their first steps.