Italy puts a million-dollar fine against Amazon for abuse of its position

The guarantor authority of the Competition and the Market Italy fined Amazon on Thursday with 1,128 million euros (about 1,275 million dollars) for abusing its dominant position by discriminating against sellers who do not use its logistics service.

This is one of the largest fines for anti-competitive practices imposed by a country on the US company, which is in the crosshairs of several regulators.

“Amazon hurt competing operators in the e-commerce logistics service,” the Italian body announced in a statement.

The US online sales giant had already been fined 68.7 million euros ($ 77 million) in November for violating competition rules by restricting access to the Amazon platform to certain Apple resellers.

This behavior is even more serious according to the authority of the competence because “at least 70% of purchases of consumer electronics in Italy” are made on Amazon.

When questioned by AFP, the US company expressed “its profound disagreement” over the sanction, against which it will appeal.

Amazon’s dominant position in the Italian market “has allowed it to favor its own logistics service (…) for sellers active on the platform to the detriment of competing operators,” the Italian authority ruled on Thursday.

Sellers who do not use Amazon’s logistics service are therefore excluded from “a set of essential advantages to achieve visibility and better sales prospects,” the entity explained.

The group “hurt” its competitors in e-commerce “by preventing online sellers from presenting themselves as providers of quality services comparable to Amazon logistics,” the watchdog explained.

That strategy “has widened the gap between Amazon’s power and that of its competitors” in the Italian market, the note added.

Online sales boom

The countries of the European Union (EU) have intensified financial sanctions against large companies in the digital sector in the United States and China in recent months.

In November, a European Parliament committee approved a draft regulation on digital markets (DMA) to better regulate the Internet and end the abuse of power by the giants of the sector.

Google has amassed a total of 8.25 billion euros ($ 9.33 billion) in fines issued by the EU.

Amazon has enjoyed the boom in online commerce since the 2020 inception of the Covid-19 pandemicHowever, you have trouble recruiting the employees you need and stocking up.

In the third quarter of the year it generated 3.2 billion dollars in net profit, half that of a year ago.

At the end of September, about 1.5 million people worked for Amazon worldwide, 30% more than a year ago.

The firm continues to hire staff to meet demand, which has not weakened after the lifting of lockdown in many countries.

Leave a Comment