Amazon’s warehouse in Warrington, England.
Nathan Stark | Getty Images
British antitrust regulators said they were investigating Wednesday Amazon Whether US e-commerce giants are hurting competition by giving unfair profits to sellers who use services more than third-party merchants in their retailers and markets.
The UK’s Competitive Markets Department said it is investigating Amazon for practices that affect sellers in the UK market, “it is anti-competitive and can lead to worse deals for customers.”
Amazon sells products through the market through its retail business. However, it also allows third-party merchants to sell items. Amazon provides these sellers with services such as logistics assistance and merchant-customer matching.
The CMA study focuses on three main areas. The first is how Amazon collects and uses third-party seller data and whether this provides an unfair advantage in Amazon’s retail decision-making.
The second is related to the so-called “purchase box”. This is the area on Amazon’s product page that offers one-click options for “Buy Now” or “Add to Basket”. CMA considers how Amazon sets the criteria for a supplier to be a priority or first choice in a “buy box.”
Finally, UK authorities will consider how Amazon will set eligibility criteria for selling under the Prime label. Prime is Amazon’s paid subscription program that provides customers with fast delivery access to other products.
“Thousands of UK companies use Amazon to sell their products, and it’s important to be able to do business in a highly competitive market. When competition is lost, consumers suffer losses and pay for their products. There may be more or lower quality products offered. There are few options. ” CMA general counsel Sarah Cardel said in a statement.
The CMA said it has not yet reached a conclusion as to whether competition law has been violated.
Amazon said during the investigation that it would “work closely” with the CMA.
“We work closely with CMA during our research, but we’ve always worked hard to support the success of small businesses selling on Amazon. This is both CMA and our best interests.” A spokeswoman told CNBC.
More than 50% of all products sold on Amazon come from small businesses, and sales from their merchant partners “continue to grow faster than Amazon’s retail sales,” a spokeswoman said. ..
UK watchdog probe follows similar Continued investigation by the European CommissionThe executive branch of the European Union.