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US online retail giant Amazon strikes deal with EU to avoid fine

US online retail giant
Amazon has reached a settlement with the European Union in two antitrust probes after addressing concerns over
its use of sellers’ data, in a move that will save it from a
fine of up to 10 percent of its global turnover.

In the first case, Amazon faced charges of using its size,
power, and data to push its own products to gain an unfair
advantage over rival merchants that also use its platform.

The company has agreed not to use sellers’ data for its own
competing retail business and its private label products.

The second case was about the equal treatment of sellers
when ranking their offers for the “buy box” on its website that
generates the bulk of its sales.

Amazon has agreed to set up a second prominently displayed
buy box for a rival product if it differs substantially in price
and delivery from the product in the first box.

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Data concerns

“The Commission found that Amazon’s final commitments will
ensure that Amazon does not use marketplace seller data for its
own retail operations and that it grants non-discriminatory
access to Buy Box and Prime,” the European Commission, which
oversees fair competition in the 27-nation EU, said.

“We are pleased that we have addressed the European
Commission’s concerns and resolved these matters,” an Amazon
spokesperson said.

The Commission said Amazon’s final commitments will remain
in force for seven years in relation to Prime and the display of
the second competing Buy Box offer, and five years for the
remaining parts of the commitments.

“Under the supervision of the Commission, an independent trustee
will be in charge of monitoring the implementation and
compliance with the commitments,” it said.

The Commission said it could impose a fine of up to 10 percent of Amazon’s total annual turnover if the company were to breach its commitments.

READ MORE: Amazon online store grapples with global outages

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