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Amazon Stirs German Antitrust Probe

Photo credit: www.quotecatalog.com

E-commerce giant Amazon has stirred an investigation from Germany’s anti-trust authority over its relationship with third-party sellers on its site. “We are currently investigating whether and how Amazon influences how traders set prices on the market-place,” Andreas Mundt, President of the German Federal Cartel Office, is quoted as stating to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. According to Mundt, there had been complaints that Amazon had blocked some third-party sellers during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic because of allegedly overly high prices, and this has drawn an investigation over concerns of Amazon controlling prices for third-party sellers on its platform.

“Amazon must not be a controller of prices,” Mundt said, adding that the e-commerce giant had responded to requests for information from the Federal Cartel Office and that its response is being evaluated. This isn't the first time Amazon is clashing with a German antitrust watch-dog and more so others globally. Up until 2013, Amazon had prevented third-party sellers from offering products they sell on its site at a lower price on other marketplaces. A probe from the German antitrust watchdog forced it to abandon that policy. Also last year, Amazon agreed to overhaul its terms of service for German third-party merchants after a seven-month investigation by the Federal Cartel Office into the company's practices.





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