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Amazon Settles Three EU Antitrust Cases & Avoids Fines

 |  December 20, 2022

Amazon on Tuesday agreed to make some significant changes to its business in Europe as part of a settlement of antitrust investigations that could have resulted in a hefty fine for the e-commerce titan.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, announced Tuesday that Amazon had made a series of commitments to address allegations that the company was using independent sellers’ data to its advantage.

The regulator had expressed concerns with Amazon’s dual role as both a marketplace and a competitor to merchants selling on its platform. Amazon, for its part, says it is an enabler of small businesses in the region.

Related: Amazon WIll Change Business Practices To Settle EU Antitrust Suits This Month

In November 2020, the Commission issued Amazon a statement of objections over its “systematic” use of non-public business data from independent sellers to benefit its own retail business.

It also opened a second investigation into claims that criteria set by Amazon for selecting featured merchants in its “buy box” tool and enabling sellers to offer products to users of its Prime membership program gave preferential treatment to Amazon’s retail business or sellers using its own delivery services.

On Tuesday, the Commission said that Amazon had made assurances that it would change some of those practices. One of the commitments was to stop using non-public data on independent sellers for its retail business or for selling branded goods and private label products.

The company also agreed to display a second buy box when there is a second offer that is different from the first on price or delivery, and to let Prime sellers choose any carrier for their logistics or delivery services.