Amazon has scrapped a clause which prevents third party sellers from listing their items cheaper elsewhere online amid growing scrutiny.
Amid calls across the US for Amazon to be investigated under anti-trust laws, Amazon has dropped the so called “most favoured nation” clauses, which previously sought to prevent sellers offering their items cheaper on rivals like Ebay or Alibaba.
The controversial clauses were scrapped in Europe back in 2013 after the UK and Germany launched an investigation into the policy, and is now also being scrapped in the US where Amazon receives half of its retail income.
This follows US Senator Richard Blumenthal’s calls last December to the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to launch a similar investigation into what he described as “anti-competitive practices”.
“Amazon’s wise and welcome decision comes only after aggressive advocacy and attention that compelled Amazon to abandon its abusive contract clause,” Blumenthal said yesterday.
This comes amid wider criticism of big technology and their increasing dominance in the US, with the presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren announcing plans to break up Amazon, Google and Facebook if she is elected in 2020.
She added that she would introduce legislation preventing Amazon from operating a marketplace and participating in that marketplace.
Amazon’s marketplace now accounts for over half of all the items sold by the tech giant.