Bundeskartellamt initiates proceedings against Amazon

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The online trading group is facing investigations by the Federal Cartel Office.

(Photo: AFP)

Düsseldorf The Federal Cartel Office has another procedure against the online dealer Amazon initiated. In addition, according to a report in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, the competition watchdogs also take the technology group Apple as an Amazon supplier under the microscope. “We would like to clarify whether and to what extent Amazon is cooperating with brand manufacturers at the expense of third-party dealers,” said the Cartel Office President Andreas Mundt. According to a spokesman, it is a so-called administrative procedure. The cartel office could ask the companies to stop the practices complained of.

According to the newspaper, the cartel office is concerned with the question of whether it is permissible to block third-party dealers on the Amazon platform for the sale of branded products. “With some brands, all retailers are excluded across the board, with the exception of Amazon itself and the respective brand manufacturer,” explained Mundt. For other brands, the exclusion only applies to certain third-party dealers.

The most prominent example is the cooperation with Apple. Since the beginning of 2019, the sale of Apple products on the German Amazon marketplace has only been allowed to authorized Apple dealers and Amazon itself. Such agreements must “respect the principle of proportionality and must not lead to the elimination of competition”.

The cartel office had already initiated numerous proceedings relating to Internet giants. Among other things, the regulatory authority has in addition to Amazon Facebook targeted. The Cartel Office also wants to secure competition in the digital economy in this way. Mundt wants to keep markets open and protect consumer interests.

More: Network agency wants European regulatory framework for Amazon and Co.

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