Amazon investigated over concerns shoppers could be overpaying
Amazon is being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over concerns it is deliberately restricting competition between sellers on its platform, which may mean shoppers are getting a worse deal.
The online marketplace sells items from its own retail business, as well as from a large proportion of third parties. But the CMA is probing whether Amazon is providing an unfair advantage to its own retailers and those third parties that use its logistics and delivery services.
The result may mean that shoppers are paying more for products, being offered lower quality items, or having less choice - though the CMA stresses it has not reached any conclusions.
The investigation, which follows a European Commission probe looking into similar concerns in the EU, will consider if Amazon has a dominant position in the UK, and whether it is abusing this by distorting competition. It will also look into how Amazon uses third-party seller data, as well as the eligibility criteria Amazon sets sellers in order to list products to Prime users.
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What does Amazon say?
A spokesperson for Amazon said: "We will work closely with the CMA during its investigation, although we believe we’ve always worked hard to help small businesses selling on Amazon to succeed, which is in both their and our best interests. More than 50% of all products sold on Amazon are from small businesses, and sales from our selling partners continue to grow faster than Amazon’s retail sales."