According to reports, the British antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), announced that it has launched an antitrust investigation into Amazon to assess whether the company favours its own sellers. If this is the case, then it puts third-party sellers on its platform at a competitive disadvantage. The CMA claims that Amazon’s behaviour to influence sellers may be “anti-competitive” and ultimately prevent consumers from getting better deals. The CMA also says that the investigation will focus on three main areas. The three areas are
- How Amazon collects third-party seller data
- How Amazone uses third-party seller data
- It will also look at how it sets standards for “priming products.”
Amazon has been at the hub of several investigations
Before the CMA, the European Commission had launched a similar investigation into Amazon. In November 2020, the European Commission accused Amazon of using its size, power and data to gain an unfair advantage over smaller merchants selling on its platform. In addition, the EU is also investigating whether Amazon has given preferential treatment to its own retail goods, as well as marketplace sellers who use its logistics and delivery services.
News emerged in November that Amazon was seeking to settle the two EU antitrust probes. The company is hoping to avoid potentially hefty fines and changes to its business model. Last month, Amazon proposed to share marketplace data with sellers on its platform. It proposes that this will increase the visibility of rival products on its platform. The move aims at persuading EU antitrust regulators to close their investigations by the end of the year without fines.
After a series of major expansions, the company had 17 brick-and-mortar stores, 15 Fresh food stores and two 4-star retail stores in the UK at the end of last year. Regarding the latest investigation by the CMA, there is no official comment from the company as of now.