Germany launches antitrust investigation against Amazon

Germany launches antitrust investigation against Amazon
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Germany has launched an antitrust investigation into Amazon over whether the retail giant is taking advantage of its market dominance in a way that is detrimental to third-party sellers on its platform.

Federal Cartel Office head Andreas Mundt told The Associated Press that Amazon's "double role as the largest retailer and largest marketplace" creates the potential for it to cripple third-party retailers.

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“Because of the many complaints we have received we will examine whether Amazon is abusing its market position to the detriment of sellers active on its marketplace,” Mundt said. “We will scrutinize its terms of business and practices toward sellers.”

The investigation will focus on the business conditions Amazon sets for those sellers, Mundt told Reuters. The agency will probe delayed payments, shipping conditions and how Amazon determines to end relationships with the sellers, Reuters reported.

The Federal Cartel Office, also known as Bundeskartellamt, said the investigation will work as a "supplement" to an ongoing European Union probe into how Amazon uses data from those third-party retailers, the AP reported.

Amazon declined to comment on the probe to the AP but said it planned to cooperate with the investigation.

“We will cooperate fully with the Bundeskartellamt and continue working hard to support small and medium-sized businesses and help them grow,” Amazon said.

The German antitrust watchdog has also launched an investigation into Facebook after findings that the company used its market dominance to gather data on people without their knowledge or consent.