Amazon has been in the crosshairs of competition regulators for some time. In November 2018, we learned that the European Commission was investigating Jeff Bezos’ company for copy successful products that rivals sold on the platform.
By having all the sales data for any product, Amazon has crucial information to manufacture and sell products similar to the most popular under the Amazon Basics brand. Now, as The Wall Street Journal reports, the European Commission plans accuse the company after two years investigating the treatment it gives to third-party sellers, of which he supposedly collects the data that later is worth to him to compete better against them.
Margrethe Vestager, European Competition Commissioner, has shown in recent years that her pulse is not shaking when it comes to suing and fining large tech companies, after several multi-million dollar sanctions on Google for abuse of a dominant position.
A process that can go on for long
The investigations of recent years will serve the Commission to send a statement of objections to Amazon, to which if it happens as with Google, it will send its preliminary considerations on the case, so the company can defend itself presenting evidence and arguments.
According to the aforementioned economic newspaper, we are probably still a year away from a final decision such as imposing a fine on Amazon. If realized, it could account for 10% of Amazon’s annual revenue if the European Commission concludes that its competition laws have been violated.
Before that fine, as we said, Amazon can present allegations for further investigation of the case. As a last resort, could appeal the possible fine in the Court of the European Union, but in previous cases such as Microsoft’s in 2004, the European Court ruled in favor of the Commission’s decision.
Recently, Google has appealed the historical fines, without for the moment the Court has given an answer, in favor or against. We will have to wait to see what the Commission’s statement of objections includes, which can be registered between next week and the following week.
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The European Union will accuse Amazon for the treatment of third-party sellers on the platform, according to the ‘WSJ’