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Canadian Court Orders Amazon to Hand Over Documents in Antitrust Investigation

 |  June 12, 2024

Canada’s Competition Bureau has announced that a federal court has granted it the authority to compel Amazon.com to produce documents related to an ongoing investigation into the online retail giant’s marketing practices. The probe will determine whether Amazon’s advertising and product promotion methods potentially violate Canadian antitrust laws by disseminating false or misleading information.

The investigation centers on the impact of customer reviews and ratings on Amazon’s product rankings and display practices on its website and mobile application. The Bureau is scrutinizing whether these claims, possibly influenced by manipulated reviews and ratings, constitute deceptive advertising practices.

A spokesperson for Amazon, headquartered in Seattle, has not yet provided a comment on the recent court order. The Competition Bureau also did not respond to additional queries regarding the timeline of the investigation or further details about its scope. However, in its statement, the Bureau emphasized that there is currently “no conclusion of wrongdoing.”

Read more: U.S. Antitrust Policy in the Age of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Facebook

This latest development is part of a broader examination of Amazon’s business practices by Canadian authorities. The Bureau initially launched an investigation in August 2020, focusing on whether Amazon was abusing its dominant market position in the retail sector.

The outcome of this probe could have significant implications for Amazon’s operations in Canada, potentially prompting changes in how the company presents product information to consumers.

Source: Market Watch