Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, has announced that the European Commission has opened an investigation against American company Amazon for suspicions of unfair competition, since it is believed that Amazon could have illegally used data and information of small businesses that use their platform for its own benefit.
“I have decided to look closely at Amazon’s business practices and its dual role as a market and retailer to assess its compliance with European Union competition rules,” Vestager said in the statement.
It is not the first time that Brussels has opened an investigation against some of the large technological multinationals for abuse of dominant position and that usually leads to a detriment of the rights of consumers and especially competition.
The European authorities are also not the only ones behind pursuing such practices. Just a few weeks ago, Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission, came to block the acquisition of Cornershop (a popular home delivery service through digital platforms in Mexico and Chile) by Walmart, due to the fear that the data generated by its competitors would be used illegally.
In the case of Europe, according to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, commercial acts that distort competition or where there is an abuse of a company’s dominant position, regardless of origin or nationality, are prohibited. Already, in March this year the European Commission fined Google for abuse of dominant position in advertising, with a penalty of €1.5 billion.
The new investigation open to Amazon must be resolved within two years, and if the platform is finally considered guilty, a multi-million fine is to be expected.