Although Amazon’s plans to resolve two European Union antitrust inquiries “appear relevant” to relieve concerns, the bloc’s antitrust commissioner believes they may have to be improved further.
The European Commission has begun to evaluate industry feedback on Amazon’s proposal to address concerns regarding its use of non-public data and potential favouritism when promoting vendors in its marketplace, Euroommissioner Margrethe Vestager said during a speech in the United States on Friday.
Amazon’s pledges “appear relevant” in their aim to address damages and have the potential to change its business model as a marketplace and retailer. Vestager added that relevant bodies are currently reviewing feedback, some of which pointed to potential changes on multiple issues.
In its proposal, Amazon promised not to use data on independent sellers on its marketplace, thereby giving competing retail businesses an edge. It also vowed to treat all sellers equally when selecting products to be presented in the ‘buy box’, which Amazon uses to promote specific products.
Earlier this month, a coalition of civil society and non-governmental organizations asked the Commission to reject Amazon’s proposal, claiming that the remedies are “weak, ambiguous, and riddled with loopholes“. Instead, they advised the Commission to continue its antitrust proceedings against Amazon, implementing remedies and fines when deemed appropriate.
Vestager, who pushed through historic EU legislation to reign in big tech earlier this year, has asked lawmakers in the United States to enact the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which prohibits tech companies from favouritism of their brands on their websites.