European Commission launches preliminary probe into Amazon’s data use

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The European Commission has launched an investigation into retail giant Amazon over how it uses its sellers’ data.

A preliminary probe has been launched into how Amazon utilises its data on third party sellers on its site, exploring whether it uses this data to give its own retail arm an unfair advantage.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner that launched the probe, has gained a reputation over the past five years for fighting major tech companies.

In July Vestager imposed a €4.3 billion (£3.8 billion) fine against Google in relation to abuse of its dominant position in mobile operating systems, while forcing Apple to repay €13 billion (£11.5 billion) in back taxes.

As part of her investigation, questionnaires have been sent to third party retailers trading on Amazon’s site.These will be returned within two-months and were based on the results of its own ecommerce inquiry completed last year.

Though the preliminary probe has been launched, it is not guaranteed to develop into a full formal investigation and will depend on the results of this information-gathering process.

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