The EU has charged Amazon for thwarting competition in the online shopping market. The company is said to have an unfair advantage over third parties selling through Amazon when selling its own products through its platform.
According to the European Commission, Amazon uses the data and statistics of independent sellers who sell their goods through Amazon. Amazon would then use this data to benefit its own retail business.
The European Commission does not think this is possible, because the company competes directly with the smaller parties that also sell via Amazon’s platform.
According to Reuters, the European Commission has also opened a second investigation into Amazon. The Commission suspects that Amazon gives its own products an unfair advantage on its platform, compared to third parties using Amazon’s logistics.
Apple vs Epic
The indictment has strong similarities with the dispute between Epic Games and Apple. Epic complains about the 30 percent commission Apple claims for apps sold on the App Store and the strict ban on offering any other method of payment inside or outside apps.
Meanwhile, Apple also offers its own services in the same App Store, which compete with those of other parties, such as Apple Music versus Spotify. Apple Music assumedly doesn’t have to pay that 30 percent commission, and even if it should, that money will eventually end up on the same place anyways.
Amazon could gain a similar advantage: in theory, the company can sell the same products for cheaper than external suppliers can, since it wouldn’t have to pay any commission to itself. An important difference is that it is only possible to publish iOS apps through the App Store, and while Amazon is a big player, it does not have a monopoly on online sales. The company disagrees with the EU charge.