Europe bends Amazon in an unfair competition case

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“The Commission has decided to accept the commitments offered by Amazon”. Phew! The online retail giant came close to being fined a record three antitrust cases.

In the first case, the company was accused “to use its size, power and data to promote its own products and services” indicates Challenges. In this way, Amazon obtained an unfair advantage over other merchants on its platform passing through the marketplace. The company has agreed not to use seller data to tailor its offer.

The second case concerned the highlighting of Amazon’s offers during a search on its platform. Amazon promoted its products in the “buy box” rather than those of other sellers even though they were more relevant to users. Europe demanded equal treatment, Amazon has agreed to create a second purchase option for competing products in the event that an Amazon product appears as the first choice.

Finally, the third case concerns logistics. Until now, Prime-tagged sellers had to choose a delivery method imposed by Amazon. From now on, they will be able to choose their own logistics and delivery services.

Amazon avoids record fine

“These commitments address our preliminary competition concerns regarding Amazon’s practices in its e-commerce marketplace” said Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, during a press conference. Amazon also said it was satisfied to have met the requirements of the European Commission.

The American giant did not have many alternatives anyway. If he had stood up, he was running the risk of being sentenced to a record fine of up to 10% of his worldwide turnover, or several billion dollars. These new sanctions are part of the Digital Markets Act, one of the last pieces of legislation voted by the European Union aimed at providing more control to the giants of Tech and digital.

This text, along with Digital Services Act (its equivalent on services), aims to further regulate the practices of digital multinationals on European soil. A section devoted to competition aims precisely to put an end to the anti-competitive practices for which companies like Amazon have already been condemned. Until now, the penalties have been far from dissuasive.

Amazon will therefore have to keep its commitments regarding Prime and the display of a second purchase option for 7 years, the others for 5 years. “Under the supervision of the Commission, an independent trustee will be responsible for monitoring the implementation and respect of the commitments” said Margrethe Verstager.

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