Amazon Fined Record EUR 1.13 Billion by Italian Antitrust Watchdog
Italy’s antitrust watchdog stated it had fined Amazon EUR 1.13 billion (roughly Rs. 9,700 crore) for alleged abuse of market dominance, in one of many largest penalties imposed on a US tech large in Europe.
Amazon stated it “strongly disagreed” with the Italian regulator’s determination and would attraction.
Global regulatory scrutiny of tech giants has been rising after a string of scandals over privateness and misinformation, in addition to complaints from some companies that they abuse their market energy.
As nicely as Amazon, Alphabet’s Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft have drawn heightened scrutiny in Europe.
Italy’s watchdog stated in an announcement that Amazon had leveraged its dominant place within the Italian marketplace for intermediation companies on marketplaces to favour the adoption of its personal logistics service – Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) – by sellers lively on Amazon.it.
The authority stated Amazon tied to the usage of FBA entry to a set of unique advantages, together with the Prime label, that assist enhance visibility and enhance gross sales on Amazon.it.
“Amazon prevents third-party sellers from associating the Prime label with offers not managed with FBA,” it stated.
The Prime label makes it simpler to promote to the greater than 7 million most loyal and high-spending shoppers members of Amazon’s loyalty program.
The antitrust authority additionally stated it might impose corrective steps that might be topic to evaluate by a monitoring trustee.
Amazon stated FBA “is a completely optional service” and that almost all of third-party sellers on Amazon don’t use it.
“When sellers choose FBA, they do so because it is efficient, convenient and competitive in terms of price”, the US group stated in an announcement.
“The proposed fine and remedies are unjustified and disproportionate”, it added.
The EU Commission stated it had cooperated carefully with the Italian competitors authority on the case, inside the framework of the European Competition Network, to make sure consistency with its two personal ongoing investigations into Amazon’s enterprise practices.
The first was opened in July 2019 to evaluate whether or not Amazon’s use of delicate knowledge from impartial retailers who promote on its market was in breach of EU competitors guidelines.
The second, in late 2020, focussed on the potential preferential therapy of Amazon’s personal retail affords and people of market sellers that use Amazon’s logistics and supply companies.
“This investigation complements today’s decision of the Italian competition authority which addresses Amazon’s conduct in the Italian logistics markets,” the Commission stated on Thursday.
© Thomson Reuters 2021