Amazon fined record €1.3 billion by antitrust watchdog

Amazon has been fined a record antitrust bill of €1.13 billion for allegedly abusing its position in the market.

The fine becomes one of the largest penalties ever imposed on a US tech company in Europe.

Amazon has responded by saying it “strongly disagreed” with the Italian regulator decision and announced it would appeal the fine.

The global tech industry has been on the receiving end of a number of antitrust bills after concerns over data privacy and misinformation, Chinese tech firms being hit the hardest.

Firms including Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Tencent and Alibaba have all suffered from antitrust investigations over the past 12 months.

READ MORE: Amazon is illegally failing to disclose adverts in search results, according to labour union

The Italian-based watchdog claimed in a statement that Amazon had leveraged its dominant position in the market for intermediation services on marketplaces in favour of its own logistics division, Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), by sellers on Amazon.it.

The regulator claimed that Amazon tied the use of FBA access to a set of exclusive benefits, including the Prime label, that help increase visibility and boost sales on Amazon.it.

“Amazon prevents third-party sellers from associating the Prime label with offers not managed with FBA,” it said.

Amazon responded by saying that its fulfilment arm is a “completely optional service” and that the majority of third-party sellers on Amazon do not use it.

“When sellers choose FBA, they do so because it is efficient, convenient and competitive in terms of price”, the tech behemoth said in a statement.

“The proposed fine and remedies are unjustified and disproportionate.”

The EU Commission claimed it had cooperated closely with the investigation to ensure consistency with its own investigations in to the business practises of Amazon.

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