European Union Filed Charges Against Amazon Under Anti-Trust Laws

The European Union opened a twofold investigation on Amazon and its business activities, in the European Economic Zone. It has clearly conveyed to the public that the statement of objection or the opening of the investigation, just not show a predetermined stance in the union, but Amazon will receive all opportunities to make their case. 

Background

The European Union has filed the suit against Amazon that it has breached the EU Anti-trust Rules which effectively distort the competition in the Online Market. It has also released the statement of Objection in adherence to the procedural steps that have been laid down. The main investigation was opened in July 2019 regarding the use of marketplace seller user data by Amazon. The investigation has been announced for two issues. The investigation that has been initiated is said to cover the European Economic Area. The commission has made an exception to Italy. The Italian Authority has begun an independent investigation on the activities last year, but the European Union has announced to give full cooperation. 

The Dual Role of Amazon

Regarding the aspect of Dual Role of Amazon played in the market place, it provides a marketplace where independent sellers can sell products directly to consumers, and also that Amazon sells its own products as a retailer on the same marketplace. Amazon plays two roles in the present case. Further, Amazon collects large amounts of buyer and seller data which flow directly throughout the business structure for various purposes. 

The Buy Box

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The Commission reopened another investigation into the business practices in connection to the Buy Box option. The buy Box option tends to favour a certain type of sellers, specifically the sellers who have the tag of “Fulfillment by Amazon” or the FBA sellers. The commission is to deeply investigate the criteria to win the Buy Box. In addition to that, there will be questioned the preferential treatment to the Amazon prime subscribers.

Treaty of Functioning of European Union

Amazon has been questioned and sued under Article 102 of the Treaty of the functioning of the European Union. The Article states that there is a prohibition of the abuse of a dominant position in the marketplace. The provisions have been defined under the Anti-trust Regulations. 

Conclusion

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The European Union has not laid down any deadline for the investigation but is driven by a formidable reason to bring out the truth behind the activities of Amazon. 

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