Amazon reaches settlement in three EU antitrust cases, avoids fine

BRUSSELS, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Amazon (AMZN.O) on Tuesday reached a settlement with the European Union in three antitrust probes after the U.S. online retailer addressed the EU's concerns over its use of sellers' data, saving it from a fine of up to 10% of its global turnover.

In the first case, Amazon faced charges of using its size, power and data to push its own products to gain an unfair advantage over rival merchants that also use its platform.

The company has agreed not to use sellers' data for its own competing retail business and its private label products.

The second case was about the equal treatment of sellers when ranking their offers for the "buy box" on its website that generates the bulk of its sales.

Amazon has agreed to set up a second prominently displayed buy box for a rival product if it differs substantially in price and delivery from the product in the first box.

In the third case, Amazon agreed that sellers under Amazon's Prime feature can choose their own logistics and delivery services, other than those approved and chosen by Amazon.

The Amazon logo is displayed on a sign outside the company's LDJ5 sortation center, as employees begin voting to unionize a second warehouse in the Staten Island borough of New York City, U.S. April 25, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid./File Photo

"The Commission has decided to accept commitments offered by Amazon. These commitments address our preliminary competition concerns about Amazon practices on its e-commerce marketplace," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told a news conference.

Amazon said it was pleased that it had addressed the European Commission’s concerns.

"While we continue to disagree with several of the preliminary conclusions the European Commission made, we have engaged constructively to ensure that we can continue to serve customers across Europe," an Amazon spokesperson said.

The Commission said Amazon's final commitments will remain in force for seven years in relation to Prime and the display of the second competing Buy Box offer, and five years for the remaining parts of the commitments.

"Under supervision of the Commission, an independent trustee will be in charge of monitoring the implementation and compliance with the commitments," it said.

The Commission said it could impose a fine of up to 10% of Amazon's total annual turnover if the company were to breach the commitments.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski. Editing by Jane Merriman

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