According to The Washington Examiner, the European Commission has “opened a second antitrust investigation into Amazon’s business practices that might artificially favour its own retail offers and offers of marketplace sellers that use Amazon’s logistics and delivery services (the so-called ‘fulfilment by Amazon or FBA sellers’).”
In terms of the implications, The Wall Street Journal has reported that Amazon allegedly used data from third-party sellers to launch competing products.
Amazon has indicated that it disagrees with the European Commission’s assertions, adding, “no company cares more about small businesses or has done more to support them over the past two decades than Amazon.”
The European Union’s decision comes after Google was hit with anti-trust fines totalling nearly $10 billion. In addition, an investigation has been opened into Apple.
Colin Constable, CTO of data privacy and new internet protocol, The @ Company, has told Digital Journal that “Amazon works as a flywheel, getting more and more powerful by offering independents access to its enormous network.”
This type of growth carries consequences, as Constable explains: “An unfortunate outcome of this and other companies like them that enable access to their network of services is that they start tracking these businesses. ”
In terms of the ramifications, Constable outlines the implication: “While initially, these services enable small businesses, these companies pay a data tax for being too successful. It’s a data fiefdom of sorts. We applaud the European Union for taking a first step toward breaking the flywheel and freeing small businesses from this damaging long-term outcome.”