Amazon ‘May Reach EU Antitrust Deal By Year End’

Image credit: Amazon

Amazon reportedly set to reach antitrust settlement with European Commission before end of year after it offers more concessions

Amazon is reportedly set to reach an deal with European Union regulators that would settle two antitrust probes over how it uses competitors’ sales data and whether it unfairly favours its own products.

The European Commission is likely to accept Amazon’s binding proposals to resolve the issue by the end of the year, although this could slip into early 2023, according to reports from Bloomberg and Reuters, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Such a deal would allow Amazon to avoid a fine of up to 10 percent of its global turnover.

Image credit: European Commission amazon
Image credit: European Commission

Seller data

In July the e-commerce giant offered proposals including that it would stop using data from third-party sellers on its platform for its own competing retail business and own-brand products.

Amazon also offered to “apply equal treatment to all sellers” when ranking their offers for awarding the winner of the “buy box” on its website that generates most of its sales.

It offered to set up a second buy box for a rival product if it differs substanially in price and delivery from the product in the first box.

The European Commission asked for feedback from competitors and customers after which it said Amazon needed to improve its concessions.

‘Weak, vague’

A source told Reuters Amazon has increased the range of data it would refrain from using.

Amazon declined to comment but in the past said it has “engaged constructively with the commission to address their concerns and preserve our ability to serve European customers”.

A group of eleven NGOs in September said Amazon’s proposals were “weak, vague and full of loopholes” and could be easily evaded or abused by the company.

The group had urged the European Commission to force Amazon to split its marketplace from its retail and logistics operations to avoid anti-competitive dominance of interrelated services.

‘Gatekeeper’ regulations

The group also said Amazon’s concessions would be less stringent than the requirements for large internet “gatekeepers” under regulations set to come into force next year.

Aside from the EU probe Amazon remains the focus of investigations by Germany’s cartel office and the UK competition regulator.