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Amazon Faces £1 Billion Lawsuit from British Retailers Over Data Misuse

 |  June 9, 2024

Amazon is confronting a substantial £1 billion ($1.3 billion) collective lawsuit from British retailers who accuse the e-commerce giant of misusing their data to enhance its market share and profitability. The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), which represents numerous small traders, announced that it was set to file the lawsuit on behalf of approximately 35,000 retailers at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in London on Thursday.

The lawsuit claims that Amazon exploited non-public data provided by retailers selling goods on its Marketplace platform to offer cheaper competing products directly to consumers. This alleged misuse of data is said to have unfairly disadvantaged smaller retailers, many of whom feel compelled to use Amazon due to its extensive market reach.

Related: Landmark £1 Billion Class Action Filed Against Amazon Over Data Misuse

BIRA Chief Executive Andrew Goodacre emphasized the critical nature of the lawsuit for small retailers struggling to compete with Amazon. “The filing of the claim today is the first step towards retailers obtaining compensation for what Amazon has done,” Goodacre stated. He expressed hope that the legal action would prevent Amazon from driving small retailers out of business.

The case also alleges that Amazon manipulated the “Buy Box” feature on its website to its own benefit. The “Buy Box,” prominently displayed near the top of product pages, is highly influential in consumer purchasing decisions. This feature is already the focus of a separate lawsuit brought on behalf of consumers, valued at up to £900 million ($1.1 billion).

The British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had previously announced in 2022 that it was investigating Amazon’s practices, including the criteria used to select products for the “Buy Box.”

Source: Reuters