A528 - Amazon: investigation launched on possible abuse of a dominant position in online marketplaces and logistic services
In the meeting of 10 April 2019, AGCM (the Italian Competition Authority) launched investigation against five companies of the Amazon group, namely Amazon Services Europe S.à r.l., Amazon Europe Core S.à r.l., Amazon EU S.à r.l., Amazon Italy Services S.r.l. and Amazon Italy Logistics S.r.l., for alleged abuse of a dominant position in breach of Art. 102 of the TFEU.
Amazon would allegedly discriminate on its e-commerce platform in favour of third-party merchants who use Amazon's logistics services. In particular, Amazon would grant improved visibility of the seller’s offerings, higher search rankings and better access to consumers on Amazon.com only to third-party sellers that subscribe to “Amazon Logistics” or “Fulfillment by Amazon” (FBA), putting other third-party merchants at a disadvantage. Such practice seems to be outside competition on the merits as the benefits are not necessarily related to the efficiency and quality of the service provided by the seller and are only based on its subscription to Amazon’s FBA ("self-preferencing").
In such a way, Amazon would unduly exploit its dominant position in the market for e-commerce platforms intermediary services in order to significantly restrict competition in the e-commerce logistics market, as well as - potentially - in the e-commerce platform market, to the detriment of final consumers.
April 16, 2019 AGCM officers have carried out inspections, with the support of the Special Antitrust Unit of the Guardia di Finanza, at the premises of some of the companies involved.
Investigation shall be concluded by 15 Aprile 2020.
Rome, 16 April 2019