Amazon avoids $47bn anti-competition fine

Amazon has managed to avoid a $47 billion fine after signing a deal with EU regulators to resolve two anti-competition issues.

The online retailer has addressed the EU Commission's competition concerns over its use of non-public marketplace seller data and a possible bias in granting sellers access to its Buy Box and its Prime programme.

Amazon has agreed to feature a second buy box for a rival product if its price and delivery vary greatly from the Amazon product already displayed.

Prime sellers will also be allowed to choose their own delivery providers which do not have to be on Amazon’s pre-approved list. Amazon has also agreed not to use third-party seller data for its own retail business.

If Amazon were to breach the commitments, the Commission could impose a fine of up to 10 per cent of Amazon's total annual turnover, or a periodic penalty payent of five per cent of Amazon’s daily turnover for every day of non-compliance.

Commenting on the news, Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president in charge of competition policy at the European Commission said: “Today’s decision sets new rules for how Amazon operates its business in Europe. Amazon can no longer abuse its dual role and will have to change several business practices.”

She added: “They cover the use of data, the selection of sellers in the Buy Box and the conditions of access to the Amazon Prime Programme. Competing independent retailers and carriers as well as consumers will benefit from these changes opening up new opportunities and choice.”

Amazon has been approached for comment.

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