Amazon’s business practices examined by two US states

Platform Industry News: Amazon

State investigators in both California and Washington are examining Amazon’s business practices, two newspapers reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

KEY POINTS:

  • California and Washington are investigating the business practices at Amazon
  • Enquiry focuses (in part) on how Amazon treats sellers on the platform
  • Following complaints in Europe, Amazon is already being investigated by the European Commission for its dual role as a marketplace and as a commercial rival

The inquiries into Amazon’s business practices focus at least in part on how Amazon treats sellers in its online marketplace, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported at the end of last week.

Amazon declined to comment on the report of an investigation by California. It was not immediately available for comment outside regular market hours on the Washington review report.

The reports said California state is reviewing Amazon’s practices on selling its own products in competition with third-party vendors. Amazon said its in-house products only account for about 1% of its total annual retail sales.

Related Article:
Biden eyes ex-Obama team to 'tackle' antitrust issues

Washington state is also investigating whether Amazon makes it harder for sellers to list their products on other websites, the NYT reported. The inquiries did not appear to be in advanced stages, the NYT report added, citing sources.

A spokeswoman for the Washington attorney general told the NYT that the office did not confirm or deny investigations. California attorney general’s office told the NYT that it does not comment on any pending or potential investigations.

The California and Washington attorney generals were not immediately available when approached by the news agency Reuters for comment.

The US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee last month called on CEO Jeff Bezos to testify about allegations that Amazon uses data from its own third-party sellers to create competing products.

Amazon is already being investigated by the European Commission for its dual role as a marketplace and as a rival, after complaints from traders.

Related Article:
Expedia to boost liquidity with $3.2 billion capital raise, names new Chief Executive

It may also face EU antitrust charges in the coming weeks over its use of data on merchants with whom it competes on its platform, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing a source.

Via our content partners at Reuters. Reporting by Ayanti Bera and Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru. Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Alexander Smith.

Share This Post