Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Charged Over Illegal Use Of Data In Europe
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) woes in Europe are far from over. The block’s top competition regulator has filed new charges against the e-commerce giant over claims it continues to abuse its size, position, and access to data. The European Commission maintains that the actions amount to an unfair advantage over the competition.
The charges are centered on the tech giant’s dual role as an e-commerce heavyweight as well as a platform for third-party retailers. According to the Commission, the e-commerce platform has accorded Amazon access to proprietary data about merchants’ online business.
In return, the company has persistently used the data collected to spur its own retail operations. According to the antitrust body, the e-commerce giant feeds nonpublic data such as the number of products ordered and seller’s revenues to its retail algorithms.
In return, the algorithm allows the company to know which new product’s to launch and the price of each new offer. According to the regulator, the actions have allowed Amazon to marginalize third-party sellers and cap their ability to grow.
The European Commission is determined to prove that large quantities of nonpublic seller data are available to Amazon. The fact that the company uses the data to strengthen its retail operations is the bone of contention.
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Data Handling Concerns
The charges in Europe comes hot on the heels of an Amazon executive telling congress early in the year that the company does not access merchant data to fuel its retail operations. In contrast, the company’s employees had initially stated that the company was accessing and using the data to fuel e-commerce operations,
The EU first aimed at Amazon operations in 2019 after a preliminary fact-finding mission indicated that the company was likely violating antitrust regulations. The company has been in crosshairs with regulators owing to the amount of power it wields when it comes to e-commerce.
Just as is the case in Europe, state and federal regulators have already aimed at the company’s practices in the U.S. The regulators are especially concerned over the way the tech giant leverages its powers over other marketplace vendors.
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