Amazon Is Fined $1.3 Billion by Italy's Antitrust Regulators

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Business|Amazon is fined $1.3 cardinal successful Italy implicit antitrust violations.

Outside an Amazon warehouse successful  Passo Corese, Italy.
Credit...Remo Casilli/Reuters

Adam Satariano

  • Dec. 9, 2021Updated 7:50 a.m. ET

Amazon connected Thursday was fined astir $1.3 cardinal by Italian regulators who accused the institution of breaking antitrust laws by giving peculiar perks to third-party merchants who usage Amazon’s warehouse and transportation system.

The determination by the Italian Competition Authority is 1 of the archetypal instances of a regulator investigating however Amazon uses the operation of its immense logistics web and online marketplace to summation an vantage implicit competitors.

The regulator said Amazon gave merchants who wage to usage the system, called Fulfillment by Amazon, enticements similar entree to Amazon Prime customers, meaning their products tin often beryllium shipped wrong 24 hours without transportation fees. The vendors besides tin enactment successful promotions similar Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day that are not disposable to those who bash not usage Amazon’s fulfillment system.

“The probe recovered that these are functions of the level that are important for the occurrence of sellers and for expanding their sales,” the contention authorization said successful a statement.

Most of the products disposable connected Amazon are offered by extracurricular vendors who usage Amazon’s tract arsenic a marketplace to scope customers. Amazon takes a percent of each sale. For an further cost, the institution offers Fulfillment by Amazon, which allows vendors to store their products successful Amazon’s warehouses and transportation system, arsenic good arsenic programs for inventory management, returns and lawsuit service.

Amazon said it would entreaty the ruling. Fulfillment by Amazon is an optional offering, the institution said, and a bulk of third-party merchants selling products connected Amazon bash not usage the company’s logistics system. The institution said determination were different methods for extracurricular vendors to scope Prime customers different than Fulfillment by Amazon.

“We powerfully disagree with the determination of the Italian Competition Authority,” the institution said. “The projected good and remedies are unjustified and disproportionate.”

Amazon has invested heavy successful Italy, a marketplace erstwhile resistant to e-commerce that came to clasp it during the pandemic. In Italy, Amazon has built fulfillment warehouses and different parts of its logistics strategy to assistance gully customers with speedy delivery.

In summation to the fine, Italian regulators said Amazon indispensable springiness extracurricular vendors who don’t usage Fulfillment by Amazon entree to the aforesaid income and visibility opportunities, if they usage a logistics relation that meets definite standards. Amazon has a twelvemonth to travel up with standards that extracurricular logistics companies indispensable conscionable to qualify.

Amazon has go a predominant people of antitrust authorities. The European Commission, the enforcement limb of the European Union, is investigating Amazon for unfairly utilizing information collected from third-party merchants to bolster its ain merchandise offerings.

Last month, Italian regulators fined Amazon and Apple much than $225 cardinal full for anti-competitive practice related to the merchantability of Apple and Beats products connected Amazon. The companies said they would appeal.

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