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Amazon acts to end EU antitrust investigations, avoid fine

Amazon has offered to halt online selling and marketing practices EU antitrust regulators regard as anti-competitive to try to end two investigations and avoid a possible hefty fine, ahead of EU rules that will target such methods from next year.

The European Commission in 2020 charged Amazon with using its size, power and data to push its own products and gain an unfair advantage over rival merchants that also use its platform.

The U.S. online retail giant has offered to refrain from using sellers’ data for its own competing retail business and its private label products, the EU competition said on Thursday.

It will treat sellers equally when ranking their offers for the “buy box” on its website that generates the bulk of its sales, confirming a Reuters story.

It will also set up a second buy box for a rival product if it differs substantially in price and delivery from the product in the first box.

Sellers and offers on its Prime programme will be chosen based on non-discriminatory criteria, with sellers also allowed to choose their own logistics and delivery services company instead of Amazon’s competing logistics services.

Rivals and customers have until Sept. 9 to provide feedback on Amazon’s proposal before the Commission decides whether to accept the offer or demand more.

Amazon, which risks a fine of up to 10% of its global turnover if found guilty of breaching EU rules, criticised the new tech rules known as the Digital Markets Act, which come into force next year and will designate it as an online gatekeeper subject to onerous rules. Reuters

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