Italian antitrust watchdog fines Amazon $1.2 billion
Amazon has been accused of "harmful" practices.
Retail giant Amazon was fined $1.2 billion from an Italian antitrust probe, which has accused the company of harmful practices, as well as abusing its superior position to leverage itself in the electronic market.
“Amazon holds a dominant position in the Italian market for intermediation services on marketplaces, which Amazon leveraged to favor the adoption of its own logistics service,” the Italian antitrust regulator said on Thursday in a statement.
The European Union, last month, ran a court bid to probe into Amazon's retail behavior, particularly concerning how Amazon deals with sellers on its own platform. However, Amazon lost the court bid, and the EU and Italy conducted investigations - separately - into how the tech giant has been behaving.
“We strongly disagree with the decision of the Italian Competition Authority and we will appeal,” Amazon contended in a statement. “The proposed fine and remedies are unjustified and disproportionate.”
The European Commission observes the ways retailers are chosen to appear in 'buy boxes' on internet pages and where the majority of their sales come from. How sellers have been offering their products to Amazon's Prime and whether these objectives favor Amazon over other retailers in terms of logistics and services are also looked into.
Moreover, the Commission views that there may be antitrust issues with Alexa, the voice assistant, and with the mechanism through which data is collected.
Italy's antitrust watchdog said it has demanded Amazon “to grant sales benefits and visibility on Amazon.it to all third-party sellers which are able to comply with fair and non-discriminatory standards for the fulfillment of their orders," in addition to other orders.