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Germany launches antitrust investigation into Amazon

Germany launches antitrust investigation into Amazon
[Photo: Flickr user Tony Webster]

The Federal Cartel Office, Germany’s antitrust authority, is investigating the online retail giant to see if the company is exploiting its market dominance at the cost of third-party sellers that use Amazon’s marketplace, reports Reuters. Specifically, the Federal Cartel Office is looking into the business conditions Amazon places on third-party sellers, including shipping conditions, payment delays, and a lack of transparency over the termination of seller privileges.

Announcing the investigation, Federal Cartel Office president Andreas Mundt said, “Amazon acts as a kind of ‘gatekeeper’ to customers. The double role as biggest trader and biggest marketplace means there is a potential to impede other traders on the platform.” The FCO says it launched the investigation after it received “many complaints” about the company’s practices in Germany, which is Amazon’s second-biggest market after the U.S.

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