Amazon fined €1.2bn by Italian antitrust watchdog

Italy’s competition authority has fined Amazon €1.2 billion.

The regulator claimed that Amazon had harmed its e-commerce logistics competitors by leveraging its dominant position in the market.

The antitrust watchdog alleged that Amazon used this position to favour the adoption of its own logistics service, Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), by sellers active on Amazon.it.

The tech giant said that it “strongly disagreed” with the decision and plans to appeal.

“The proposed fine and remedies are unjustified and disproportionate,” said an Amazon spokesperson. “Small and medium-sized businesses have multiple channels to sell their products both online and offline: Amazon is just one of those options."

The authority also suggested that Amazon tied a set of exclusive benefits to the use of FBA, which are "essential for gaining visibility and increasing sales on Amazon.it". It referred to Prime Label, which it claims makes it easier to sell to the more than seven million consumers that are members of Amazon’s loyalty program.

"Amazon prevents third-party sellers from associating the Prime label with offers not managed with FBA," it said.

In addition, the Italian Competition Authority suggested that third-party sellers using FBA are not subject to the stringent performance indicators that Amazon applies to monitor the non-FBA sellers’ performance, which it claimed can ultimately lead to the suspension of non-compliant sellers’ accounts on Amazon.it.

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