European Commission accepts commitments by Amazon barring it from using marketplace seller data, and ensuring equal access
The European Commission has made commitments offered by Amazon legally binding under European Union antitrust rules. Amazon's commitments address the Commission's competition concerns over Amazon's use of non-public marketplace seller data and over a possible bias in granting sellers access to its Buy Box and its Prime program. Amazon's practices raised three competition concerns:
- The use of big data and Amazon's dual role as both a marketplace and a competitor to sellers active in its marketplace.
- Rules of access set by Amazon for sellers to appear in the Buy Box.
- Rules of access set by Amazon for sellers and carriers to participate in the Prime Program.
In response to European Commission concerns, Amazon has committed to the following:
- Improve the presentation of the second competing Buy Box offer by making it more prominent and including a review mechanism in case the presentation is not attracting adequate consumer attention;
- Increase the transparency and early information flows to sellers and carriers about the commitments and their newly acquired rights, enabling, amongst others, early switching of sellers to independent carriers;
- Lay out the means for independent carriers to directly contact their Amazon customers, in line with data-protection rules, enabling them to provide equivalent delivery services to those offered by Amazon;
- Improve carrier data protection from the use by Amazon's competing logistics services, in particular concerning cargo profile information;
- Increase the powers of the monitoring trustee by introducing further notification obligations;
- Introduce a centralized complaint mechanism, open to all sellers and carriers in case of suspected non-compliance with the commitments.
- Increase to seven years, instead of the initially proposed five years, the duration of the commitments relating to Prime and the second competing Buy Box offer.
The Commission found that Amazon's final commitments will ensure that Amazon does not use marketplace seller data for its own retail operations and that it grants non-discriminatory access to Buy Box and Prime.
European Commission accepts commitments by Amazon barring it from using marketplace seller data, and ensuring equal access Remarks by Executive Vice-President Vestager on the decision to make binding commitments offered by Amazon