New ‘bad luck’ card for Amazon. The online distribution giant must pay a fine of 3.33 million euros to the Fraud Prevention Department (DGCCRF). In question, a “delay in compliance” contracts with merchants selling products on the Amazon.fr platform.
In its press release, the DGCCRF specifies that it had asked Amazon in December 2021 “to modify as soon as possible, and at the latest before March 22, 2022, certain clauses in its contractual conditions applicable to third-party sellers, due in particular to a significant imbalance in these contractual conditions in favor of Amazon”.
To urge Amazon to get back on track, the DGCCRF matched this request with a penalty of 90,000 euros per day of delay. Since the company submitted its conditions in compliance on April 28, 2022, more than a month after the deadline, “the DGCCRF requests the payment of 3.33 million euros from Amazon, under the penalty payment”.
Second time for Amazon
If this is the first time that the DGCCRF has used “of the new power of injunction under penalty provided for by the Commercial Code”Amazon had already been pinned for similar reasons.
In 2019, the company was sentenced by the Paris Commercial Court to a fine of 4 million euros “following an assignment from the Minister for the Economy”. In question, “different unbalanced clauses in the contract that Amazon imposed on companies using its online marketplace”.
Solicited by The echoes the day before the publication of the DGCCRF press release, an Amazon France spokesperson claimed that the changes made on April 28, 2022 in the contracts were “in accordance with his injunction”. Nevertheless, he indicates that the company is “in disagreement with the DGCCRF on its conclusions, its decisions and the related penalty”. And to add:
We are challenging each of them in court. We remain committed to providing the best experience for our customers and vendor partners.
In 2021, Amazon recorded a turnover of 9 billion euros in France, i.e. almost 3 million euros per day, the equivalent of the penalty claimed by the DGCCRF.
Nevertheless, the new power of injunction under penalty provided for by the Commercial Code and used here by the DGCCRF provides for dissuasive penalty amounts of up to up to 1% of worldwide turnover “depending on the seriousness of the breach of economic public order observed”.