Federal Cartel Office, a competition watchdog in Germany, has reportedly commenced a fresh investigation on the multinational technology company, Amazon. The investigation has been set to determine whether the company is abusing its dominant position in the e-Commerce space in the country.
As per the reported statement made by Federal Cartel Office’s President, Andreas Mundt, the country has started probing the relationship of the e-Commerce giant with its 3rd-party sellers on the company’s website. Mr. Mundt further cited that Amazon is not to be a price controller and the process of price-fixing will not be tolerated even during the COVID-19 crisis. Under the new probe, the national competition regulator is investigating the way the company influences its traders to set products’ prices in the marketplace.
Amazon is yet to respond to the recent investigation report. Additionally, the company is facing a similar antitrust investigation in the EU (European Union).
The EU will conduct the antitrust probe to examine whether the adoption of sensitive data from the independent retailers by Amazon has violated the EU rules.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s Founder & CEO, has stated that he cannot give assurance on the non-assessment of the 3rd-party seller data by the company’s workers. His statement was made during the antitrust hearing by a congress panel in the U.S., which was held due to high criticism that its employees look into the independent sellers’ data on its platform to examine its own competitive products.
However, Amazon has denied these antitrust claims by clarifying that it does not access the sales data from these independent sellers to develop and improve its own products.
In the recent past, the online retail giant has been charged with various allegations on using its dominant market position to identify as well as enter new categories of products via the information from the 3rd-party seller data.