Amazon (AMZN.O) has pledged to discontinue anti-competitive online selling and marketing activities identified by EU antitrust authorities in order to resolve two investigations and avoid a potentially large punishment, ahead of EU legislation that would target such conduct beginning next year.

In 2020, the European Commission accused Amazon of abusing its scale, influence, and data to promote its own items and gain an unfair advantage over other merchants that utilize its platform.

According to the EU competition, the US online retail behemoth has pledged to desist from utilizing sellers’ data for its own competitive retail operation and private label items.

It would treat sellers fairly when rating their offerings for the “buy box” on its website, which produces the majority of its sales, according to Reuters.

It will also create a second purchase box for a competing product if its pricing and delivery time vary significantly from the product in the first box.

Sellers and offers on Amazon’s Prime program will be selected using non-discriminatory criteria, and sellers will be able to use their own logistics and delivery services provider rather than Amazon’s rival logistical services.

Customers and competitors have until September 9 to comment on Amazon’s plan before the Commission decides whether to accept it or demand more.

Amazon, which faces a punishment of up to 10% of its worldwide revenue if found in violation of EU laws, has criticized the Digital Markets Act, which goes into effect next year and designates it as an online gatekeeper subject to onerous restrictions.

“While we have serious concerns about the Digital Markets Act unfairly targeting Amazon and a few other U.S. companies, and disagree with several conclusions the European Commission made, we have engaged constructively with the Commission to address their concerns,” the company stated.

The concessions would “preserve our ability to serve European customers and the more than 185,000 European small and medium-sized businesses selling through our stores” according to the company.

This is not the first time Amazon has chosen to circumvent EU restrictions. In 2017, it removed several conditions from its distribution agreements with European e-book publishers, prompting authorities to conclude their inquiry without levying a punishment.

It modified its terms of service for third-party merchants in 2019 and persuaded the German antitrust regulator to discontinue its seven-month probe.

Source: Reuters


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