Amazon fined $ 1.3 billion in Italian antitrust proceedings

Milan — Italy’s antitrust regulators have been fined Ltd

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$ 1.3 billion says it has hurt its competitors by supporting third-party distributors who use its logistics services. This is a decision that reflects the growing oversight of high-tech giants by antitrust regulators around the world.

Regulators paid on Thursday to use warehouse and shipping services, such as Amazon increasing the likelihood that consumers will see it as a default option or “buy box” when they click to buy an item. He said he supported the Italian seller.

A fine of € 113 million Wave of antitrust enforcement Allegedly abused Amazon and other large tech companies in Europe and elsewhere to crush small competitors.

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Google and Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook have faced formal investigations, charges, or fines in various proceedings filed by the European Union and countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany over the past two years. Both companies have denied cheating.

In addition to the fines, Italian regulators have ordered Amazon to provide “fair and non-discriminatory standards” for lists from third-party sellers to be monitored through appointed trustees.

In Italy, antitrust regulators can fine up to 10% of a company’s annual revenue, but the final number depends on where and how long the abuse occurred. A spokeswoman said the fine could be the highest amount the regulator has ever imposed.

Amazon called the fines and remedies outlined by the Italian authorities “unjust and disproportionate” and said it would appeal. Under the Italian legal system, if the first court confirms the fine and relief, the company can appeal to the High Court again. The court can also decide to reduce the fine or adjust any changes that Amazon needs to make.

Amazon’s market share in the 2019 online marketplace is up to five times that of its closest competitor, and the gap has widened significantly over the last four years, according to a two-year antitrust investigation. According to regulators, in 2019, more than 70% of total product sales by third-party sellers on the Italian online marketplace occurred on

Amazon is taking advantage of this advantage in favoring the adoption of logistics services that look like “Amazon fulfillment” when consumers choose products to buy.

The treatment of Amazon’s third-party sellers on the platform has been the subject of intense debate. NS The Wall Street Journal Survey Last year, we found that Amazon employees were using data from other sellers to develop competing products. Amazon has launched an internal investigation, stating that employees doing so violate that policy.

CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google faced tough questions and sometimes hostile criticisms of their business practices at antitrust hearings. This session highlighted how four of America’s five most valuable companies are being monitored from both sides of the aisle.Photo: House Judiciary Committee / Reuters

Amazon says it is investing in their success because it relies heavily on third-party sellers for revenue. The majority of sellers do not use logistics services, they do because they are efficient and cost-effective.

Regulators argue that in reality it can be difficult for external companies to meet Amazon’s standards and qualify for better placement on the site, with some sellers making their logistics services effective. It states that it is forcing you to use it.

The EU’s best competitors are conducting similar investigations to Italy’s.Last year, block Violation of the Antimonopoly Act submitted separately Against Amazon allegedly competing with private data from third-party sellers. The company has denied cheating.

According to an EU spokeswoman, EU competition executors will work closely with the Italian competition authorities on the case to “ensure consistency with its own investigation.” Both investigations are underway.

Write to Eric Silvers And Sam Schechner

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Amazon fined $ 1.3 billion in Italian antitrust proceedings

Source link Amazon fined $ 1.3 billion in Italian antitrust proceedings

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