GER­MAN AN­TITRUST AGENCY OPENS AMA­ZON IN­VES­TI­GA­TION

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Ger­many’s an­titrust agency said Thurs­day it has be­gun an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of on­line re­tailer Ama­zon over com­plaints it’s abus­ing its po­si­tion to the detri­ment of sell­ers who use its “mar­ket­place” plat­form.

The Fed­eral Car­tel Of­fice, or Bun­deskartel­lamt, said Ama­zon’s “dou­ble role as the largest re­tailer and largest mar­ket­place has the po­ten­tial to hin­der other sell­ers on its plat­form.”

“Be­cause of the many com­plaints we have re­ceived we will ex­am­ine whether Ama­zon is abus­ing its mar­ket po­si­tion to the detri­ment of sell­ers ac­tive on its mar­ket­place,” said agency head An­dreas Mundt. “We will scru­ti­nize its terms of busi­ness and prac­tices to­ward sell­ers.”

The Ger­man in­ves­ti­ga­tion will “sup­ple­ment” an on­go­ing Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Ama­zon’s use of data to the pos­si­ble dis­ad­van­tage of mar­ket­place sell­ers, with a fo­cus strictly on terms of busi­ness and prac­tices to­ward sell­ers on its Ger­man Ama­zon mar­ket­place, the of­fice said.

Ama­zon said it could not com­ment on on­go­ing pro­ceed­ings.

“How­ever, we will co­op­er­ate fully with the Bun­deskartel­lamt and con­tinue work­ing hard to sup­port small and medium-sized busi­nesses and help them grow,” the com­pany said.

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