FRANKFURT Oct 20 Germany's antitrust watchdog
accused Amazon of undermining competition when dealing
with third-party merchants and said it would impose reform
unless the Internet retailer changed its rules, a German
"Luckily, we have instruments of torture, which we will use
if necessary," Andreas Mundt, the president of the German cartel
office, was quoted as telling daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
A struggle with competition authorities in its
second-largest market after the United States would add to
Its German operations have been rattled by a dispute over
employees' pay and a trade union has warned that staff could
strike during the Christmas holiday season.
"The terms of Amazon's Marketplace in effect obstruct
competition," Mundt said, according to a pre-release on Sunday
of the newspaper's Monday edition.
"We are in talks with Amazon to eliminate these impediments
to competition...If necessary, we will issue a crystal clear
Separately, Amazon has been criticised over its tas payments
and leading policy makers have called for a new German
government to crack down on tax avoidance by multinational firms
without waiting for its European partners to act.
At the heart of the watchdog's complaints about Amazon's
Marketplace is a requirement that third-party merchants must
offer their cheapest price when selling their products over the
Amazon was not immediately available for comment.