French watchdog hits Amazon with €3.3 million fine for missing compliance deadline

Amazon has been ordered to pay €3.3 million in penalties by a consumer fraud watchdog in France after it missed deadlines to comply with EU legislation.

The DGCCRF found that the ecommerce giant failed to modify contractual provisions related to third-party sellers by a deadline set by the regulator. The ‘platform-to-business’ rules – first introduced by the European Union in 2019 – were aimed at correcting imbalances in contractual terms between Amazon’s online store and third-party sellers.

The initial deadline was set for March 22 but Amazon only complied with the order by April 28, with the DGCCRF saying this led to penalties equivalent to €9,000 per day.

The DGCCRF, backed by France’s finance ministry, found that Amazon didn’t abide by the platform-to-business rules following an investigation.

In a statement, Amazon said it would appeal against the fines: "The DGCCRF has acknowledged that the changes we implemented in April are consistent with its injunction. However, we continue to disagree with the DGCCRF on its findings, decisions and related penalty, and are challenging each of them in court."

Elsewhere, in the US Amazon and its logistics subsidiary are being sued by the District of Columbia attorney general's office over allegations that the company had withheld tips from delivery drivers. Attorney general Karl Racine has said that the company knowingly "tricked consumers into thinking they were increasing drivers' compensation when Amazon was actually diverting tips to reduce its own labour costs and increase profits."

The lawsuit is seeking civil penalties for every violation and a court order to stop Amazon repeating the practice.

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