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A collective of powerful brands (including Heineken and L’Oréal) have won the first round in a legal battle against Amazon, concerning contracts made with the e-commerce giant. A French court ruled against the US giant’s efforts to delay the case, in a ruling given on June 22.

According to details of the case, if the court sides with the collective against Amazon, the tech giant may be forced to change the contracts suppliers are required to sign to sell products on its marketplace.

The case against Amazon in France

The case had not previously been reported and was filed in June last year by the Liaison Institute for Consumer Goods Enterprise (ILEC in French). The trade association represents household consumer brands that include Coca-Cola and Unilever.

ILEC complained to the Paris commercial court, concerning Amazon’s contracts with suppliers, which the collective says breaches French Law.

Amazon is looking to have the case dismissed in the next hearing, which could be the final one. It is scheduled to happen in March next year, according to the case file. Independent traders have also made similar complaints about their contracts with Amazon. However, they wield nothing near the power ILEC has.

The power of ILEC

ILEC members aren’t comparable to small traders selling on the platform. The collective includes food brands and other powerhouse entities that have the resources and influence to take powerful distributors to court.

Unlike the small traders, their products can have irreplaceable value for Amazon, meaning that they can challenge the behemoth in court, without fear of getting disappeared off the Amazon Marketplace.

Both ILEC and Amazon have declined to comment on the ongoing case, which may lean in favour of the former, leading to significant changes.