Amazon and Ebay are being investigated by Australia’s antitrust regulator as the country continues its strict crackdown on Big Tech.
An inquiry into “how online marketplaces operate” was launched by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today, marking the latest national regulatory body to place greater scrutiny on how ecommerce giants operate.
“Online marketplaces are an important and growing segment of the economy so it is important that we understand how online marketplaces operate and whether they are working effectively for consumers and businesses,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a statement.
“We want to be sure that the rules that apply to traditional retail are also complied with in the online context.”
According to the ACCC, which is notorious for placing the world’s strictest content licencing rules on Facebook and Google, it has received wide-ranging complaints regarding the the “quality of goods sold on marketplaces, the timeliness of payment remittance to sellers, how goods are put on display on marketplaces, and the level of support provided by marketplaces to consumers when disputes arise”.
It will seek submissions until March 2022, and will examine the relationship between the retailers, their third-party sellers, and shoppers, including how data, complaints and reviews are handled.
Amazon’s market dominance is drawing increasing scrutiny from governments across the globe, and the retailer is facing anti-trust cases, new regulations and a wider backlash on multiple fronts.
Last month, The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced plans to launch a formal investigation into the retail giant, and is understood to have already been analysing its business for months.
EU regulators also 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.