The European Commission is filing a formal complaint against Amazon because it suspects the online platform uses data from sales partners in order to launch competing products of its own. The e-commerce giant risks a fine of 25 billion euros.
Amazon is to be formally accused following an earlier investigation: the retailer is said to use data from individual providers on its marketplace to develop its own versions, which the retail giant would then market under its private label brands. According to the EU, the company is thus abusing its power and violating competition rules, The Wall Street Journal claims based on confidential sources.
It was that same newspaper that had made the practice public, with its own research among employees and former collaborators. Although the official European indictment has not yet been filed, it is said to be ready to go.
If found guilty, Jeff Bezos' company can be fined up to 10 % of its annual turnover, or some 28 billion dollars (25 billion euros - that is 25,000,000,000 euros). However, it will take at least a year before a decision is reached and then the retailer can still lodge an appeal. Amazon settled a similar case filed by the German and Austrian competitive authorities by adjusting the contract terms for local trading partners.