Amazon Faces New EU Antitrust Probe Over Marketplace Data Violations

The EU has accused Amazon of misusing the data it collects from third-party sellers on its platform, European commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced Tuesday, November 10.

The European Commission, the bloc’s top antitrust enforcer, issued a charge sheet against Amazon alleging that the company uses nonpublic data it gathers from third-party sellers to unfairly compete against them. 

In addition, the EU is opening an investigation focusing on how Amazon selects which vendor is the default seller for a given product, alleging that Amazon, and those that pay extra for its services, are more likely to be chosen.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said “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. The conditions of competition on the Amazon platform must also be fair.  Its rules should not artificially favour Amazon’s own retail offers or advantage the offers of retailers using Amazon’s logistics and delivery services. With e-commerce booming, and Amazon being the leading e-commerce platform, a fair and undistorted access to consumers online is important for all sellers.”

The Commission is objecting specifically to: “The Commission’s preliminary view, outlined in its Statement of Objections, is that the use of non-public marketplace seller data allows Amazon to avoid the normal risks of retail competition and to leverage its dominance in the market for the provision of marketplace services in France and Germany – the biggest markets for Amazon in the EU.”

Amazon stated it disagreed with the allegations and would continue to engage with the commission “to ensure it has an accurate understanding of the facts,” reported the Wall Street Journal.

“No company cares more about small businesses or has done more to support them over the past two decades than Amazon,” the company stated.