Today in TechREG: Amazon Faces a New UK Antitrust Investigation; Department of Commerce Urged to Slow Roll CBDCs and Clarify Crypto Rules 

Today, the U.K. Competition Markets Authority launched an investigation against Amazon for allegedly giving its own sellers an unfair advantage in its marketplace over third parties. The Department of Commerce closed a consultation requesting stakeholders’ feedback on how to build a new crypto regulatory framework, but the few responses received may not be enough for the agency to get a real sense of what the companies and citizens may expect with the new rules.  

Amazon Faces Probe By UK Antitrust Watchdog Over Sales Practices 

The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is looking into whether Amazon “has a dominant position in the U.K. and whether it is abusing that position and distorting competition by giving an unfair advantage to its own retail business or sellers that use its services,” it announced in a Wednesday (July 6) press release. 

The investigation, which will consider whether Amazon is offering preferential treatment to its own third-party sellers on the Amazon U.K. Marketplace, follows the European Commission’s examination of similar concerns for the world’s largest retailer. 

Department of Commerce Urged to Slow Roll CBDCs And Clarify Crypto Rules 

On Tuesday, July 5, the DoC closed a consultation receiving 34 submissions, 10 of which have been published on the register’s website, with the general view that crypto regulation is needed, but with the usual opposing views between proponents and critics of this new technology and its associated products. 

All the respondents requested regulatory clarity and a level playing field. Another area of agreement is the need for talent and education as U.S. companies will need access to top talent that doesn’t exist yet. The third area where there is agreement but with some differences is about the need for a retail CBDC. The general view is that a CBDC may not be necessary given other alternatives for digital payments. 

Big Tech May Not Feel Impact of EU’s New Online Rules Until 2024 

After years in the making, on Tuesday, July 5, the EU Parliament approved in plenary session landmark legislation that will set comprehensive standards for regulating the digital space. 

Now that the laws are approved, what’s next? Google, Amazon, Meta, Apple and other online platforms won’t need to rush to make any changes as they still have a few months to comply with the new rules and make adjustments to their business models, if needed. The implementation period varies between 6 and 15 months. 

Law Firm Probes Zelle’s Fraud Reimbursement 

A San Francisco law firm says it is investigating the fraud reimbursement practices of a number of major American banks that use the Zelle peer-to-peer payment system. The announcement Wednesday (July 6) by Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe LLP comes eight days after a class action suit against Zelle and Wells Fargo was withdrawn in federal court. 

“Despite Federal laws requiring the reimbursement of unauthorized electronic fund transfers, several major U.S. banks have refused to cover some customers’ fraud claims related to scams taking place on the Zelle payment system,” Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe said in a press release.