The EU probes Amazon over business practices

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Amazon EU
// The European Union is launching an initiative to regulate tech companies such as Amazon
// EU antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager is taking a “very close look at Amazon’s business practices

The European Commission has launched a formal antitrust investigation to find out whether Amazon’s use of sensitive data from independent retailers who sell on its platform, is in breach of EU competition rules.

European Union antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she is taking a “very close look at Amazon’s business practices and its dual role as marketplace and retailer, to assess its compliance with EU competition rules”.

The online giant permits third-party retailers to sell their goods on its marketplace, and last year, over half of the items sold on Amazon worldwide were from third-party sellers.

The EU opened a preliminary probe last year, and Vestager said Amazon “appears to use competitively sensitive information – about marketplace sellers, their products and transactions on the marketplace”.

The EU’s investigations into companies such as Amazon has raised questions on whether tech giants abuse their privileges to end competition, but also whether they are protecting users’ data and paying their taxes in countries where they operate.

Amazon has previously been at the centre of EU investigations.

In 2017, officials ordered Amazon to pay $295 million (£233.71 million) back in taxes to Luxembourg after finding that the company profited from a tax avoidance deal with the country.

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