Amazon to pay $1.28 billion as fine for abusing market dominance, Italian regulator says


Italy’s antitrust authority (AGCM) has decreed that Amazon has to pay a penalty of €1.13 billion, which is equivalent to $1.28 for “abuse of dominant position.” This is the second fine, imposed on Thursday, on the-commerce giant over the past few weeks. In a Google translated release, the regulatory body said that the global company held a position of “absolute dominance” in the Italian brokerage services market.

The press release also mentioned that Amazon had promoted its own logistics service, called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). This “prevented third party sellers from associating the Prime label with offers not managed with FBA.”

According to the regulatory body, companies had to use Amazon’s FBA service, to gain access to important benefits such as the Prime label. This label allowed them to participate in major sales events including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Prime and more.

The AGCM also said that seller success required access to label like Prime as well as key events such as Black Friday and more which were not given to those sellers who did not use FBA. The authority also said that there was discrepancies in performance requirements between FBA and non FBA sellers with FBA ones getting less stringent requirements.

The Italian regulator also mentioned that FBA sellers had lower chances of suspension if they were unable to meet specific goals. Apart from the fine, Amazon has to give third-party merchants access to the same sales and visibility as that is given to its FBA sellers. Amazon has a year’s time to set standards for outside logistics companies to follow. Amazon is planning to appeal against the ruling.

Last month, the regulatory body in Italy fined Amazon and Apple a combined $225 for anti-competitive cooperation. The big tech and the e-tailer had cooperated to sell Apple and Beat products. Both the companies said that they would appeal.

The European Commission is also investigating Amazon for unfair practices. The e-commerce giant reportedly uses data collected from third-party sellers to unfairly improve and promote products offered under its own label.

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