Amazon and EU finalize third-party seller antitrust agreement

agreed to change certain business practices within the European Union as part of legally binding commitments to the bloc’s executive body. The European Commission said will conduct antitrust investigations into how Amazon treats third-party sellers for the time being. Amazon will have to comply with the commitments for between five and seven years or face hefty fines.

“Today’s decision sets new rules for how Amazon operates its business in Europe. Amazon cannot abuse its dual role anymore. [as both marketplace and seller] and will have to change some business practices,” said Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the Competition Policy Committee, . “They cover data usage, Buy Box merchant selection, and Amazon Prime Program access conditions. Competing independent retailers and service providers as well as consumers will benefiting from these changes opens up new opportunities and choices.”

The deal includes some preliminary Amazon commitments . Among other things, it will rank all sellers equally in the Buy Box, displaying an item from a specific seller so customers can quickly buy it. Amazon says it will show a Second Buy Box if another seller offers the product at a significantly different price and/or delivery time.

Third-party sellers in the EU will be able to deliver their products through Prime without having to use Amazon’s shipping or logistics services. In addition, Amazon will not use any non-public data relating to third-party sellers to benefit its own business, including logistics, or create an imitation of a third-party seller. popular products.

The final agreement includes some additional commitments, such as making it easier for third-party sellers to contact their Amazon customers directly so they can offer delivery services similar to those offered by Amazon. service provided by Amazon. The company will also need to create a way for sellers and carriers to file complaints if they suspect they’re not living up to their commitments.

Amazon said it disagreed with some of the Commission’s preliminary conclusions. However, it tells that, “We are pleased that we have addressed the concerns of the European Commission and addressed these.”

The settlement applies for five years in most cases. The second Prime and Buy Box commitments will last for seven years. This Agreement has legal force in the European Economic Area excluding Italy. The competition authority of that country has impose its own punishment on Amazon.

If EU regulators determine that Amazon is not complying with the terms of the agreement, the Commission can fine the company up to 10% of its annual global revenue without having to find a breach of the terms of the agreement. antitrust rules. Based on Amazon’s 2021 revenue, that fine could be as high as $47 billion. In addition, the EC may fine Amazon 5% of daily sales for each day of non-compliance with the terms of the agreement.

EU regulators have launched official antitrust charges against Amazon , accusing the company of abusing its dual position. Committee about the previous year’s use of non-public data. In a separate investigation, the EC found that Amazon “abused its dominance in the French, German and Spanish markets to provide online marketplace services to third-party sellers.” Amazon is still facing scrutiny over these issues and .

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