Italian antitrust regulators order Amazon to pay $1.28 billion fine

Italian antitrust regulators order Amazon to pay $1.28 billion fine

11. December 2021 0 By Horst Buchwald

Italian antitrust regulators order Amazon to pay $1.28 billion fine

Rome, Dec. 11, 2021

 

Amazon will appeal a decision by Italian antitrust authorities. Background: the company was fined $1.28 billion for alleged abuse of its market dominance.

The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) said Amazon favored third-party sellers in Italy who used its logistics, warehousing and delivery services, which harmed competitors. The fine is one of the highest imposed in a single EU country for antitrust issues.

According to the AGCM, Amazon has favored sellers who use its paid logistics service Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), as they are more likely to be displayed in the standard buy box compared to other third-party sellers.

FBA sellers also get access to the Prime label, which allows them to participate in Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other events. In addition, the performance requirements are said to be lower than those for non-FBA sellers.

The AGCM noted that access to FBA services is “critical” to sellers’ success and that those who don’t pay for them will be disadvantaged.

Amazon argued that the fine and remedies were “unjustified and disproportionate,” pointing out that it offers non-FBA sellers a Seller Fulfilled Prime service that lets them take advantage of Prime without paying for its logistics services.

Last month, the Italian Competition Authority fined both Amazon and Apple $228 million for unfairly restricting the sale of Beats products.

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