Amazon violates competition rules through partner sales data, says Brussels

The European Commission says Amazon violates the competition rules and thus enriches its own business. According to Commissioner Margrethe Vestager for Competition, the US giant has been guilty of using confidential sales data from other retailers using Amazon as a platform.

According to the committee, it concerns data such as the number of products sold, the turnover generated and how often the offers of retailers have been viewed. The committee says in the press release that using non-public data Amazon bypasses the risks of competing with other stores.

A dual role

If you order products through the Amazon webshop, you can do so through Amazon itself but also through other retailers who use the platform as a marketplace. This allows them to potentially attract more customers than through, for example, their own webshop. This ensures that the American web shop giant has a double role.

โ€œ We need to ensure that dual platforms with market power, such as Amazon, do not hinder competition,โ€ said Commissioner Vestager in a statement. โ€œRetailers data should not be used in favor of Amazon if it is a competitor to these parties. The indictment relates to the German and French Amazon websites.

In response to Reuters news agency, Amazon says it โ€œdisagrees with the chargesโ€. The company claims to own 1 percent of the global retail market.

Equal playing field very important

The Dutch industry association of web shops, Thuiswinkel.org, says in a response to recognize the problem. โ€œA level playing field is very important. If platforms dont offer that, its not a good thing,โ€ says director Wijnand Jongen. At the same time Jongen does not know any Dutch webshops that have complained to the European Commission.

The state of accusation follows after Brussels announced last year to start the case. From the charges, there may be a fine and the demand to change cases. The German Competition Authority opened an investigation into Amazon in August. This focuses on the question of the extent to which the billion-dollar company is interfering with the pricing policies of retailers selling through Amazon.

Amazon is the third tech giant in a few years that the European Commission is aiming at. Under the leadership of Commissioner Vestager, three fines have already been awarded to Google for more than โ‚ฌ8 billion; the company has appealed against all three. Earlier this year, the committee also launched an investigation into alleged abuse of power by Apple in the App Disturb and payment service Apple Pay.