Amazon’s 2-year antitrust probe could fail as investigators struggle to understand algorithm

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Amazon’s two-year antitrust investigation by EU regulators could amount to nothing as investigators struggle get to grips with its algorithm.

EU regulators launched a landmark investigation into Amazon in July 2019, accusing it of prioritising its own products over third party sellers’ in its search listings.

Since then, investigators have been attempting to understand how the algorithm Amazon uses to list products works.

However, according to the Financial Times, EU officials are struggling to establish the criteria used to boost visibility and are struggling to gather enough evidence to bring antitrust charges.

This is largely due to the fact the investigators are prevented from viewing Amazon’s proprietary code due to legal barriers protecting trade secrets.

READ MORE: EU could launch major Amazon antitrust probe “within days”

EU officials are also up against the fact that Amazon is financially motivated to ensure its third-party sellers aren’t disadvantaged, as they now make up around two thirds of total sales.

While the EU may be struggling to pin Amazon, the Biden administration is seemingly ramping up its antitrust arsenal to take on big tech.

Last week it was revealed that two prominent anti-trust and anti-big tech evangelists Tim Wu and Lina Khan could be joining the National Economic Council and the Federal Trade Commission respectively.

According to analysts these appointments signal that President Biden is preparing to face off against the industry’s biggest companies and fierce regulation could be on the way.

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