MILAN, March 12 (Reuters) - Italy’s antitrust watchdog said on Thursday it was investigating e-commerce giants Amazon and eBay for an allegedly excessive rise in the price of products such as hand sanitiser during the coronavirus crisis.
Italy is the country hardest hit by the virus in Europe with more than 1,000 deaths and a nationwide lockdown.
The antitrust authority said in statement it had opened a probe into the two companies’ subsidiaries in Italy and in Europe in relation to an unwarranted spike in prices of items such as disinfectant gel and protective masks.
It said it would also investigate allegations of misleading advertisements for some items put up for sale on the e-commerce platforms where they were described as being effective against the coronavirus.
eBay and Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for a comment from Reuters.
Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Kirsten Donovan