Amazon to be hit with antitrust charges in Europe

The European Union is expected to formally file charges against for harvesting data from third-party sellers, and using that information to compete against those sellers on the sales platform.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report the news on Thursday. Excerpt:

The charges could be officially filed as early as next week or the week after, one of the people said. The European Commission, the bloc's top antitrust regulator, has been honing its case, and the case team has been circulating a draft of the charge sheet for a couple of months, another person said.

The formal charges would be the commission's latest step in a nearly two-year probe into Amazon's alleged mistreatment of sellers that use its platform. The charges—called a statement of objections—stem from Amazon's dual role as a marketplace operator and a seller of its own products, the people said. In them, the EU accuses Amazon of scooping up data from third-party sellers and using that information to compete against them, for instance by launching similar products.

Amazon declined to comment. It has previously disputed that it abuses its power and size and said that retailers commonly sell their own private-label brands.

Read more:
Amazon to Face Antitrust Charges From EU Over Treatment of Third-Party Sellers
[WSJ, June 11, 2020 6:41 am ET]