A PYMNTS Company

Booksellers Welcome EC’s Antitrust Resolution With Amazon

 |  December 22, 2022

The Booksellers Association (BA) has welcomed the European Commission’s announcement that it has accepted commitments by Amazon barring it from using marketplace seller data.

Earlier this week Amazon agreed to make changes to its business in Europe as part of a settlement with the European Union (EU) over antitrust investigations that could have resulted in a large fine.  

Within the EU, Amazon will make the Buy Box more competitive, allow third-party merchants to participate in Prime while using outside logistics providers, and block Amazon from using internal data to compete with third-party merchants.

Read more: Amazon & Co Move To Dismiss Booksellers’ Antitrust Suit

The BA was particularly concerned with the latter and said it “welcomed” news that “Amazon, and its software, will now be forbidden from analysing non-public third-party seller data, and will treat all sellers equally when deciding which offer to put in the best screen location. Sellers will also be allowed to choose their own delivery firm, rather than being obliged to use the service chosen by Amazon’s Prime premium service.”

Meryl Halls, m.d. at the BA, said: “The BA has advocated in the UK and elsewhere in Europe for many years the urgent need to tackle the ways in which Amazon uses its market heft. Amazon’s practices damage the common good, most especially for small businesses like independent bookshops and we welcome the European Commission’s announcement as a necessary step in ensuring that online retail markets will operate in fair, open and transparent ways, while clarifying in more explicit terms how this should work.  

She added: “It should mean that there are now more opportunities for independent retailers to compete and sell online, and that customers will have better choices, including BA members in Ireland. In the UK we await the ruling of the CMA on its ongoing investigation into Amazon’s Marketplace, and we hope that will also secure much needed improved transparency and access for online sellers.”