Amazon commitments ‘seem relevant’ to EU concerns

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Amazon appears to be on the right track in its attempts to appease EU antitrust authorities regarding two investigations initiated by the European Commission (EC).

The first investigation concerns Amazon’s use of non-public seller data. The second relates to how the Amazon Prime service and deal display feature (formerly known as the Buy Box) promotes Amazon’s retail business, as well as marketplace sellers who use the Amazon’s logistics and delivery services.

After doing a number of commitments change the way the Amazon marketplace operates in order to allay the Commission’s concerns, these were published by the EC which demand feedback from relevant stakeholders.

In its bid to settle the two cases, Amazon pledged to stop using independent seller data for the benefit of its own retail competitor. Amazon also pledged to apply “non-discriminatory terms and criteria to determine the Featured Offer,” including removing Prime eligibility as a relevant criteria for selection as a Featured Offer.

Read more: Amazon offers deal to remedy EU antitrust charges as Watchdog seeks comment

While the EC’s call for comments was open until September 9, comments from EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Friday September 16 suggest Amazon’s proposed changes have alleviated at least some of the Commission’s concerns.

In a speech in the United States today, Vestager said “the commitments offered by Amazon appear relevant to remedying harm and have the potential to transform Amazon’s business model as a marketplace and retailer,” as the reports Bloomberg.

She added that “we are not there yet” and that the EC is still accessing comments.

In his answer To the Commission’s call for comments, the Balanced Economy Project, a non-profit civic group that campaigns against monopolies, wrote: “While these [proposals] may seem positive at first glance, we believe this is an attempt by Amazon to prevent and delay effective action against its abusive activities and dominant position.

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