Categories: RegulationWorkspace

France Demands €10m Amazon Fine Over Vendor Contracts

France’s economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, charging the e-commerce giant abused its dominant position to impose “unfair” conditions on sellers using its platform and demanding a record fine of €10 million (£8.8m).

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.

‘Abusive’ contracts

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!

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

Italian Regulator Recalculates Apple, Amazon Fines

Italian regulator admits it has redetermined the fines against Apple and Amazon, over the sale…

9 hours ago

Red Cross ‘Appalled’ As Hackers Steal Humanitarian Data Of 515,000 People

A new low. International Committee of the Red Cross shuts down reunification system, after hackers…

12 hours ago

Russia Proposes Ban On Cryptocurrencies, Crypto Mining

Russia's central bank has this week proposed the banning on the use and mining of…

13 hours ago

Apple Working To Patch Safari Data Leak Vulnerability

Oh dear, not so private. Webkit browser engine flaw has been leaking user ID and…

15 hours ago

EU Chief Confirms Chip Law Proposal For Early February

Chip shortage solution? European Commission boss says the European Chips Act legislation will be proposed…

16 hours ago