The complaint with the Paris Commercial Tribunal follows a two-year probe by the consumer regulator DGCCRF in which the agency analysed contracts between vendors and Amazon as well as other major e-commerce players in the country and conducted interviews with those involved, according to a report by daily paper Le Parisien.
The investigation concluded Amazon had made use of its broad competitive lead over other platforms to “impose unfair relations with its vendors”, DGCCRF official Loic Tanguy told the paper.
Amazon has some 3.5 million visitors per day in France, with more than 10,000 businesses registered as vendors.
The US company’s contracts with those sellers include a number of abusive clauses, the regulator argues, including the ability to unilaterally modify contracts at short notice, for instance requiring shorter delivery times, imposing lengthy account verifications during which all sales are blocked or suspending accounts entirely.
The company’s contracts could, in some cases, “push (vendors) into bankruptcy”, said Tanguy, while an unnamed seller said Amazon treats vendors like “ignorant subordinates”.
An unnamed DGCCRF official told Le Parisien the complaint was a “strong and unprecedented act”.
France’s economy ministry confirmed a complaint had been filed against Amazon but didn’t provide further details.
Amazon said the company doesn’t comment on legal proceedings.
How well do you know the cloud? Try our quiz!
A new low. International Committee of the Red Cross shuts down reunification system, after hackers…
New measures proposed to bolster the resilience of British businesses facing an ever growing number…