Amazon is set to be investigated by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over anti-trust concerns beyond its retail operations, as antitrust enforcers probe Amazon Web Services (AWS).
AWS, the retailer’s market leading cloud computing business, will also come under the FTC’s scrutiny as it seeks to determine whether Amazon could be violating anti-trust laws to quash competition, according to Bloomberg.
Numerous software companies, which asked to remain anonymous, told Bloomberg that the FTC has been inquiring about AWS’ practices.
In the investigation into Amazon’s retail empire, the FTC is looking into whether Amazon discriminates against sellers who use its platform but sell rival goods.
Third party sellers, which make up more half of all sales on Amazon, often depend on the platform to reach their audience easily.
Many of these sellers directly compete with Amazon’s own retail arm, and concerns had been raised by sellers that Amazon was using its dominant position to “punish” direct competitors.
It is understood that due to AWS’ dominant position in the cloud-computing market, with more than twice the market share of its nearest rival Microsoft Azure, the FTC is investigating whether Amazon could be employing similar techniques to punish companies that work with other cloud providers.
AWS currently accounts for around 60 per cent of Amazon’s total income, allowing it to pile money into its retail and growing services arm.