Amazon offers concessions to avoid EU antitrust case – The Journal

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Amazon has promised to treat third-party merchants fairly on its website as it seeks to resolve two European Union antitrust investigations

LONDON (AP) — Amazon, seeking to resolve two European Union antitrust investigations, has promised to treat third-party merchants fairly on its website, the bloc’s competition watchdog said Thursday.

The U.S. online retail giant has offered to make a number of commitments to assuage competition concerns, and the European Commission, the bloc’s 27-nation bloc’s main antitrust enforcer, said that it would now seek comments from “interested parties”.

The commission launched an investigation four years ago into concerns that Amazon was using data from merchants selling products on its platform to gain an unfair advantage over them.

It also opened a separate investigation into whether Amazon favors its own retail business and merchants who use its logistics and delivery system over other sellers.

The investigations are part of the bloc’s broader efforts to limit the power of big tech companies.

Amazon said it was “seriously concerned” that new EU digital regulations “unfairly target Amazon and a few other US companies” and disagreed with several of the committee’s findings.

But the company added that it “engaged constructively with the commission to address their concerns and safeguard our ability to serve European customers and the more than 185,000 European small and medium-sized businesses selling in our stores”.

Amazon had faced a fine of up to 10% of its annual worldwide revenue, which could have amounted to billions of dollars.

Britain’s competition watchdog launched a similar investigation into Amazon last week, examining concerns the online retailer was abusing its dominance to undermine rivals.

FILE – The Amazon logo is displayed on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite, July 27, 2018. Britain’s competition watchdog plans to investigate whether Amazon is harming competition and consumers by giving an unfair advantage merchants who pay for additional services. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

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