On Tuesday, November 10, the European Union formally announced that it is filing preliminary antitrust charges against Amazon for its misuse of data from third-party sellers. If Amazon loses this case and pays a fine, it could cost the tech giant 10% of its earnings which would be more than $28 billion dollars. This complaint was based on its conduct in Germany and France. Amazon has to respond to these charges.
The European Commission’s complaint is based on the fact that Amazon uses data from third-party sellers to set its retail strategies. It therefore acts as a marketplace operator as well as a competitor launching products in the same marketplace. This dual role gives the company an unfair advantage as well as the opportunity to use real time business data to its exclusive advantage.
Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement: “We must ensure that dual role platforms with market power, such as Amazon, do not distort competition. Data on the activity of third party sellers should not be used to the benefit of Amazon when it acts as a competitor to these sellers.”
Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of the international worker’s union UNI Global Union, sent a statement to Business Insider, a part of which is as follows: “The time to end Amazon’s stranglehold on our markets and communities is now. We are pleased that the European Commission is leading the way.”
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