Italy fines Amazon €1.13 billion for abuse of market dominance

Amazon said it fully agrees with the Italian regulator’s decision and will appeal.

MILAN, Dec. 9 (Reuters) – An Italian antitrust regulator announced Thursday that Amazon has fined 1.13 billion euros ($ 1.27 billion) for alleged abuse of market dominance, one of the highest taxes in the were imposed on the technology giant SA in Europe.

Global regulatory scrutiny over technology giants has tightened after a series of privacy and disinfection scandals, as well as complaints from several companies abusing their market power.

In addition to Amazon, Google (GoogL.O), Facebook Inc (FB.O), Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) have gained more control in Europe.

The Italian regulator said in a statement that the company has used its dominant position in the Italian market for brokerage services to encourage the launch of its own logistics service – Amazon Compliance (FBA) – which operates on Amazon.

The agency said that using FBA access brings several unique benefits to the company, including the Prime label, which helps increase visibility and sales on Amazon. it.

“Amazon forbids third-party sellers to apply the Prime label to offers that are not managed by FBA,” he said.

The Prime label makes it easy to sell to over 7 million of the most loyal and high-spending consumers who are members of Amazon’s loyalty program.

The competition authority has also announced that it will take corrective measures, which are subject to review by a regulatory authority.

Amazon has stated that FBA is an “entirely optional service” and is not used by most third-party vendors at Amazon.

“When sellers opt for Fulfillment by Amazon, they do so because it is efficient, affordable, and competitively priced,” the US company said in a statement.

“The fine and proposed remedial action is unjustified and disproportionate,” he said.

The European Commission said it had worked closely with the Italian Competition Authority on the case within the European Competition Network to ensure consistency with its two ongoing investigations into Amazon’s business practices.

The first opened in July 2019 to see if Amazon’s use of sensitive data by independent retailers selling in its market violated EU competition rules.

The latter focused in late 2020 on the potentially cheap treatment of Amazon’s retail offers and offers from market sellers who use Amazon’s compliance and delivery services.

“This investigation complements the decision of the Italian competition authority on the behavior of Amazon on the Italian logistics markets,” said the commission on Thursday.

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