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article imageFTC begins investigation into Amazon over business practices

By Karen Graham     Sep 11, 2019 in Business
Seattle - Amazon is reportedly facing a potential investigation of its marketplace by antitrust officials examining whether it's using its influence to hurt competition.
Several lawyers and at least one economist have been interviewing small businesses that sell products on the e-commerce giant's website. The interviews usually last about 90 minutes and cover a range of topics, according to Bloomberg.
One question being asked of all the business owners is what percentage of their business's revenue is derived from Amazon versus other online marketplaces like Walmart Inc. and EBay Inc. This gives the impression that regulators are skeptical of Amazon's claims that shoppers and merchants have a choice of alternatives besides the company.
The probe into Amazon's market practices comes on the heels of a probe being conducted into Google - specifically looking into accusations that its web search leads consumers to its products to the detriment of rivals, according to Reuters.
In July, the Justice Department along with the FTC began reviewing online platforms such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter over possible anti-competitive and anti-consumer actions.
At the international level, Amazon is facing a formal antitrust investigation into its competitive practices regarding sellers' sensitive information.
"E-commerce has boosted retail competition and brought more choice and better prices. We need to ensure that large online platforms don't eliminate these benefits through anti-competitive behavior," commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who heads up competition policy at the European Commission, said in a statement, according to USA Today.
Amazon shares fell less than 1 percent to $1,812 at 9:36 a.m. in New York.
More about Amazoncom, Federal trade commission, antitrust probe, Competition, FTC
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