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Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN)

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EU opens anti-trust probe into Amazon over data use

17 Jul 19

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - The EU on Wednesday launched a formal investigation into how Amazon uses data from independent merchants selling products on its websites.
EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she would take a "very close look at Amazon's business practices and its dual role as marketplace and retailer, to assess its compliance with EU competition rules".

According to preliminary fact-finding by the commission, Amazon appeared to use "competitively sensitive information" - about marketplace sellers, their products and transactions.

"European consumers are increasingly shopping online. E-commerce has boosted retail competition and brought more choice and better prices. We need to ensure that large online platforms don't eliminate these benefits through anti-competitive behaviour," Vestager said.

The probe will investigate standard agreements between Amazon and third-party merchants and how "the use of accumulated marketplace seller data by Amazon as a retailer affects competition".

The commission is also looking into how retailers "won" the so-called 'Buy Box' button which allows customers to directly add a product to their online shopping cart.

For a retailer, "winning" the buy box means that when a customer searches for a particular product, and then clicks to buy it, that retailer's offer, rather than competing ones, will be chosen.

"Winning the "Buy Box" seems key for marketplace sellers as a vast majority of transactions are done through it," the EU said in a statement.

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Market Data

Currency US Dollars
52 Week High $2,170.22
52 Week Low $1,619.44
Shares Issued 498.00m
Market Cap $1,072,244m


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