Ama­zon fined over CMA de­lay

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By James Cook

AMA­ZON has been fined £55,000 by the Com­pe­ti­tion and Mar­kets Au­thor­ity over its fail­ure to meet dead­lines for hand­ing over doc­u­ments dur­ing the in­quiry into its in­vest­ment in food de­liv­ery busi­ness De­liv­eroo.

The CMA has is­sued Ama­zon with two sep­a­rate fines of £30,000 and £25,000 over what it says were “se­ri­ous and fla­grant” is­sues in which it some­times took months to hand over doc­u­ments re­quested by the watch­dog. Ama­zon’s $557m (£423m) deal to buy 16pc of De­liv­eroo was ap­proved last month, 15 months af­ter it was first an­nounced.

The CMA said in April that it would pro­vi­sion­ally clear the agree­ment be­cause De­liv­eroo had warned it des­per­ately needed cash to stave off col­lapse dur­ing the pan­demic. The reg­u­la­tor cleared the deal af­ter a lengthy in­ves­ti­ga­tion found it would not sub­stan­tially de­crease com­pe­ti­tion.

Ama­zon blamed “tech­ni­cal is­sues” for its fail­ure to meet CMA dead­lines to hand over in­for­ma­tion in­clud­ing emails and doc­u­ments about its plans for food de­liv­er­ies in the UK. It at­tempted to re­trieve doc­u­ments by re­for­mat­ting a lap­top af­ter the CMA com­plained that many of the 157 doc­u­ments turned over in re­sponse to one re­quest for data were emailed meet­ing in­vi­ta­tions.

The watch­dog said “although Ama­zon did ul­ti­mately pro­vide all the

in­for­ma­tion re­quired, the CMA con­sid­ers that Ama­zon’s be­hav­iour caused un­nec­es­sary de­lays”.

An Ama­zon spokesman said: “We are com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing reg­u­la­tory bod­ies in their work.

“We co­op­er­ated fully with the CMA’s in­quiry and worked hard to pro­vide large vol­umes of in­for­ma­tion in a timely man­ner. All re­quested doc­u­ments were pro­vided to the CMA.”

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