Italy fines Amazon record $ 1.3 billion for abuse of market dominance – .

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Italy fines Amazon record $ 1.3 billion for abuse of market dominance – .


  • Amazon abused the dominance of intermediation services – watchdog
  • Amazon disagrees with regulator’s decision and appeals
  • Amazon says fine is “unjustified and disproportionate”

MILAN, Dec. 9 (Reuters) – Italy’s antitrust watchdog announced on Thursday that it had fined Amazon € 1.13 billion ($ 1.28 billion) for alleged abuse of market dominance, one of the heaviest sanctions imposed on an American tech giant in Europe.

Amazon said it “strongly disagrees” with the Italian regulator’s decision and will appeal.

Global regulatory scrutiny of tech giants has intensified after a series of scandals over privacy and disinformation, as well as complaints from some companies that they are abusing their market power.

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Besides Amazon, Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL.O), Facebook Inc (FB.O), Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) have come under increased surveillance in Europe.

The Italian watchdog said in a statement that Amazon had taken advantage of its dominant position in the Italian marketplace intermediation services market to drive adoption of its own logistics service – Fulfillment by Amazon ( FBA) – by sellers active on Amazon.it.

The authority said Amazon is linked with the use of FBA access to a set of exclusive benefits, including the Prime label, which help increase visibility and increase sales on Amazon.it.

“Amazon prevents third-party sellers from associating the Prime label with offers not managed with Fulfillment by Amazon,” he said.

The Prime label makes it easy to sell to more than 7 million of the most loyal and spendthrift consumers who are members of Amazon’s loyalty program.

The antitrust authority has also said it will impose remedial measures that will be subject to review by a supervisory agent.

Amazon said that FBA “is a completely optional service” and that the majority of third-party sellers on Amazon do not use it.

“When sellers choose Fulfillment by Amazon, they do so because it is efficient, convenient and price competitive,” the US group said in a statement.

“The fine and the proposed remedies are unjustified and disproportionate,” he added.

The European Commission said it had cooperated closely with the Italian competition authority on the case, as part of the European Competition Network, to ensure consistency with its two own ongoing investigations into the commercial practices of ‘Amazon.

The first was opened in July 2019 to assess whether Amazon’s use of sensitive data from independent retailers selling in its marketplace violated EU competition rules.

The second, at the end of 2020, focused on the possible preferential treatment of Amazon’s own retail offerings and those of marketplace sellers who use Amazon’s logistics and delivery services.

“This investigation complements today’s decision by the Italian competition authority which addresses Amazon’s behavior in Italian logistics markets,” the Commission said on Thursday.

(1 $ = 0,8832 €)

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Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Maria Pia Quaglia; edited by Alexander Smith and Jason Neely

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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