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Amazon fights EU for letting Italy run a parallel antitrust probe

Amazon asked the EU’s General Court to strike down part of the investigation into the “buy box” where Amazon highlights sellers of a particular product.

The first batch of the six-month Amazon Global Selling programme will have close to 10 startupsalamy
The first batch of the six-month Amazon Global Selling programme will have close to 10 startupsalamy (MINT_PRINT)

Amazon.com Inc. is contesting a move by European Union antitrust regulators that allowed Italy to run a parallel investigation into concerns over how the e-commerce giant promotes sellers.

Amazon asked the EU’s General Court to strike down part of the investigation into the “buy box” where Amazon highlights sellers of a particular product.

“When the European Commission decides to investigate a matter, European law says that national competition authorities cannot investigate the same topic,” Amazon said in an emailed statement Wednesday.

The EU is checking how Amazon selects retailers for the highlighted “buy box” on pages that attract some 80% of sales. Officials will check how sellers can offer products to Amazon’s Prime loyalty program, which offers free delivery, and if that effectively favours Amazon’s own products and sellers that use Amazon’s logistics and delivery service.

The challenge was filed at the Luxembourg-based EU court on Jan. 19, according to the tribunal’s website. The EU usually takes over investigations from smaller national authorities.

Amazon said it will “continue to cooperate fully with the commission and Italian authority’s investigations.” The Brussels-based commission’s press office didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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