The Competition Bureau is investigating Amazon.ca | CBC News

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The Competition Bureau of Canada has launched an investigation into the online marketplace Amazon.ca to determine whether the US owners of the website “are impacting competition to the detriment of consumers and businesses doing business in Canada “.The competition watchdog said in a statement Friday that while its investigation is ongoing and stressed that “there are no findings of wrongdoing at this time,” the bureau is seeking to know. whether or not the site may engage in anti-competitive practices, including:

  • Any past or existing Amazon policies that may impact the willingness of third-party sellers to offer their products for sale at a lower price through other retail channels, such as their own websites or others. online marketplaces;
  • The ability of third-party sellers to be successful in the Amazon Marketplace without using its “Fulfillment By Amazon” service or advertising on Amazon.ca.
  • Any efforts or strategies by Amazon that may cause consumers to purchase products that it offers for sale over those offered by competing sellers.

While Amazon sells millions of items itself, it also serves as a channel for sales of products from other companies that Amazon does not have in stock, in exchange for a reduction of each sale in the process. .

In a statement to CBC News, an Amazon spokesperson said, “We are cooperating with the Competition Bureau’s review and continue to work hard to support the small and medium businesses that sell in our Canadian store – and help develop. ”

The office is asking any person or business who has made sales through Amazon.ca to contact them if they have information about the issues they are investigating. Although personal information must be disclosed, the office promises confidentiality.

Booming online sales

Online shopping has exploded in the COVID-19 era, and Statistics Canada recently reported that Canadians spent nearly $ 4 billion at online retailers in May, double the amount they spent in February before the start of the pandemic and more than double the amount they were. spend online a year ago.

This figure does not include sales on Amazon.ca since the data agency does not consider Amazon to be a retailer because it does not have physical branches in Canada.

From Statistics Canada’s perspective, sales on Amazon.ca are recorded as wholesale sales.

The section of Canada’s Competition Act that the bureau is investigating deals with something called “abuse of dominance” and if the bureau finds evidence of it, it has the power to impose a fine of 10 million dollars at first instance, followed by 15 dollars. million for all subsequent instances.

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