Amazon and the European Commission reach an agreement to close two investigations

A solution before sanctions. Amazon, the juggernaut of online sales, has been under the scrutiny of the European Commission since 2019 regarding compliance with competition rules. A first investigation had been opened into abuse of commercial data, the second launched in November 2020 focusing on suspicions of preferential treatment of sellers. These investigations ended after an agreement signed between Brussels and the e-merchant.

In a press conference, the European authority has announced that it will end its proceedings following the commitments made by Amazon. The latter will have six months to implement them, i.e. by June 2023. “Amazon will have to end all preferential treatment to its own retail and logistics operations in Europe”said the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager.

Commitments made by Amazon

In response, an Amazon spokesperson said: “We are pleased to have addressed the concerns of the European Commission and to have resolved these issues. Although we still disagree with several of the European Commission’s preliminary conclusions, we are committed to a constructive approach”. This pact aims to reduce conflicts of interest linked to its status as a market place hosting its own products, but also those of other resellers, a role that impacted compliance with competition rules.

Amazon is therefore committed “to refrain from using non-public data relating to the activities of independent sellers on its marketplace, or derived from them, for its retail activities that compete with these sellers”. To close the second investigation, Amazon will allow sellers “to freely choose any carrier for their logistics and delivery services”. Jeff Bezos’ company will also set up a complaint system dedicated to all sellers and carriers in order to report any problem related to non-compliance with competition rules.

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