Italy’s antitrust watchdog mentioned it had fined Amazon EUR 1.13 billion (roughly Rs. 9,700 crore) for alleged abuse of market dominance, in one of many largest penalties imposed on a US tech big in Europe.
Amazon mentioned it “strongly disagreed” with the Italian regulator’s choice and would attraction.
World regulatory scrutiny of tech giants has been rising after a string of scandals over privateness and misinformation, in addition to complaints from some companies that they abuse their market energy.
Italy’s watchdog mentioned in a press release that Amazon had leveraged its dominant place within the Italian marketplace for intermediation providers on marketplaces to favour the adoption of its personal logistics service – Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) – by sellers lively on Amazon.it.
The authority mentioned Amazon tied to using FBA entry to a set of unique advantages, together with the Prime label, that assist improve visibility and enhance gross sales on Amazon.it.
“Amazon prevents third-party sellers from associating the Prime label with presents not managed with FBA,” it mentioned.
The Prime label makes it simpler to promote to the greater than 7 million most loyal and high-spending customers members of Amazon’s loyalty program.
The antitrust authority additionally mentioned it will impose corrective steps that shall be topic to evaluation by a monitoring trustee.
Amazon mentioned FBA “is a totally elective service” and that almost all of third-party sellers on Amazon don’t use it.
“When sellers select FBA, they achieve this as a result of it’s environment friendly, handy and aggressive by way of worth”, the US group mentioned in a press release.
“The proposed fantastic and cures are unjustified and disproportionate”, it added.
The EU Fee mentioned it had cooperated intently with the Italian competitors authority on the case, inside the framework of the European Competitors Community, to make sure consistency with its two personal ongoing investigations into Amazon’s enterprise practices.
The primary was opened in July 2019 to evaluate whether or not Amazon’s use of delicate knowledge from impartial retailers who promote on its market was in breach of EU competitors guidelines.
The second, in late 2020, focussed on the potential preferential remedy of Amazon’s personal retail presents and people of market sellers that use Amazon’s logistics and supply providers.
“This investigation enhances immediately’s choice of the Italian competitors authority which addresses Amazon’s conduct within the Italian logistics markets,” the Fee mentioned on Thursday.
© Thomson Reuters 2021