Italy Fines Amazon $1.3B, Alleging Hurt to Outdoors Sellers

A view of the Amazon logo is displayed in Douai, northern France, April 16, 2020. Italy’s anti-trust authority on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021 fined Amazon 1.13 billion euros, accusing it of exploiting its dominant position against third-party sellers on its site in such areas as logistics and product promotion in violation of EU competition rules.

A view of the Amazon emblem is displayed in Douai, northern France, April 16, 2020. Italy’s anti-trust authority on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021 fined Amazon 1.13 billion euros, accusing it of exploiting its dominant place in opposition to third-party sellers on its web site in such areas as logistics and product promotion in violation of EU competitors guidelines.

AP Picture/Michel Spingler, File

MILAN (AP) — Italy’s anti-trust authority on Thursday fined Amazon 1.13 billion euros ($1.3 billion), accusing the corporate of exploiting its dominant place in opposition to unbiased sellers on its web site in violation of European Union competitors guidelines.

The tremendous is one among the most important leveraged in Europe in opposition to the web retail large, which expanded specifically in Italy throughout a coronavirus lockdown that prevented residents from going to shops to purchase gadgets thought-about nonessential.

Europe has pioneered efforts to rein in large tech firms, most famously by slapping Google with multibillion-dollar fines in three antitrust instances. The push is gaining steam worldwide as regulators and lawmakers tackle digital giants over accusations of all the pieces from stifling competitors to failing to stop dangerous content material from showing on their platforms.

Amazon mentioned it “strongly disagreed” with Italian regulator’s determination and would enchantment, calling the fines and proposed cures “unjustified and disproportionate.” It famous that greater than half of annual gross sales in Italy are from small and medium companies which have entry to different channels to promote their items.

Italy’s AGCM authority mentioned Amazon has required that third-party sellers use its personal logistics service, known as Fulfilment by Amazon, harming rivals and strengthening its personal place.

The e-commerce large additionally prevents third-party sellers from getting access to Amazon’s Prime loyalty program, “which makes it simpler to promote to the greater than 7 million most-loyal and highest-spending shoppers.”

Which means such sellers are also excluded from particular occasions, together with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day affords, thereby additionally reducing the possibilities that the sellers’ gadgets will seem as a “featured provide.”

“The investigation confirmed that such advantages are essential to achieve visibility, to spice up gross sales and, in flip, to the success of the sellers’ affords on Amazon.it,’’ the regulator mentioned.

The authority has ordered Amazon to grant gross sales advantages and visibility on Amazon.it to all third-party sellers in a position to meet the requirements of its Prime service, which it should publish.

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