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Amazon may face antitrust charges over treatment of third-party sellers

* Charges against tech giant would likely come within next two weeks ─Watchdog Group

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

For apparently breaking competition rules, a European Union (EU) investigation has reportedly revealed that the e-commerce giant Amazon uses data from third-party sellers to compete against them.

Following a lengthy investigation into Amazon’s treatment of third-party sellers, the European Commission (EC) plans to lodge formal antitrust charges against Amazon, according to Wall Street Journal.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the source said that the charges would likely come sometime within the next two weeks.

The watchdog group reportedly intends to accuse Amazon of using data from third-party sellers to compete against them.

Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner, stated in 2019 that Amazon “appears to use competitively sensitive information ─about marketplace sellers, their products and transactions on the marketplace.”

Vestager, in July 2019 when the EU first launched the investigation, disclosed that Amazon appears to use competitively sensitive information about marketplace sellers, their products and transactions on the marketplace.”

As regards scrutiny over business practices, during the course of the probe, Vestager said the EU would “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.”

Report further stated that in April, more than 20 former Amazon employees said that Amazon had used seller data to help design and price its in-house products.

However, Amazon maintained that it “strictly prohibit(s)” its employees from using that data and said it had launched an internal investigation into the matter.

A decision on whether the company violated competition laws is “expected to take at least another year,” according to the report.

If Amazon is ultimately found to have violated competition laws, it could face a fine of 10 percent of its annual revenue, according to the report.

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