In a press release on Tuesday, the European Commission (EC) opened an investigation into Amazon for possible anti-competitive conduct to “assess whether Amazon’s use of sensitive data from independent retailers who sell on its marketplace is a breach in EU competition rules.”
Commissioner Vestager stated that the EC is seeking to ensure that “large online platforms don’t eliminate benefits” of choice and better prices through anti-competitive behavior.
The EC has conducted preliminary fact-finding that appears to show that Amazon, as a marketplace where independent sellers market directly to customers, has used “competitively sensitive information.”
An in-depth investigation will look at two areas; first, the standard agreements between Amazon and independent sellers and, second, the role of data in the selection of the winners of the ‘Buy Box.’ This investigation will analyze whether and how the collection and use of these data affect competition and selection.
This investigation may uncover that these practices breach EU competition rules on anti-competitive agreements between companies.