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World NewsAmazon fined $1.28 billion by Italy's antitrust regulators

Amazon fined $1.28 billion by Italy’s antitrust regulators

Packages transfer alongside a conveyor at an Amazon success middle on Cyber Monday in Robbinsville, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon was fined 1.13 billion euros ($1.28 billion) on Thursday by Italian antitrust regulators for abusing its market dominance.

The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, or AGCM, said that Amazon had harmed competing operators within the e-commerce logistics service.

It concluded that Amazon leveraged its dominant place to encourage sellers on Amazon.it to make use of its personal logistics service — Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA).

This was completed “to the detriment of the logistics services offered by competing operators, as well as to strengthen its own dominant position.”

AGCM stated it can impose corrective steps that will likely be topic to assessment by a monitoring trustee.

Amazon stated it “strongly disagrees” with the high quality and that it plans to attraction. “The proposed fine and remedies are unjustified and disproportionate,” an Amazon spokesperson instructed CNBC.

Amazon stated over 50% of all annual gross sales on its platform in Italy come from small and medium-sized enterprise, including that their success is essential to Amazon’s enterprise mannequin.

“Small and medium-sized businesses have multiple channels to sell their products both online and offline: Amazon is just one of those options,” the Amazon spokesperson stated.

“We constantly invest to support the growth of the 18,000 Italian SMBs that sell on Amazon, and we provide multiple tools to our sellers, including those who manage shipments themselves.”

Ruhell Amin, world head of retail fairness analysis at William O’Neil + Co, instructed CNBC’s “Street Signs Europe” on Thursday that it is a “significant” high quality for the e-commerce large.

“It’s part of a broader trend that we’ve seen in Europe around trying to regulate some of these Big Tech companies,” he stated.

The concern for buyers is that the Italian high quality may signify a broader pattern towards regulating Amazon extra closely in different elements of its enterprise as nicely, and in different elements of the world, Amin stated. “This certainly seems like the tip of the iceberg,” he stated.

“This case is interesting because the European Commission opened its own probe into this practice but carved Italy out of the scope of the investigation to allow Italy’s antitrust watchdog to proceed on its own merit,” Amin added. “Typically the European Commission is quite unified in its approach.”

Elsewhere, regulators in China are cracking down on e-commerce large Alibaba whereas Latin American regulators are focusing on Mercado Libre.

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