Italy’s antitrust regulator fined Amazon $1.2 billion (£910 million). It claimed that Amazon had exploited its market dominance by promoting Fulfillment by Amazon, its own logistics business (FBA).
It said that businesses needed to use the FBA service to gain access to important perks including selling Prime-delivery products at no extra cost to customers and participating in Black Friday promotions. Amazon stated that it “seriously disagrees” with the verdict and that it will file an appeal.
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The commission found that Amazon disadvantaged third-party vendors by compelling them to use its own infrastructure to have access to important advantages and events.
“As a result, Amazon has barred third-party sellers from linking the Prime branding with deals that are not administered by FBA,” the report stated. Access to such features, according to the regulator, is “crucial” for vendors to succeed on Amazon’s Marketplace.
It also stated that it would impose corrective measures that would be reviewed by a monitoring trustee. The fine was “unjustified and unreasonable,” according to Amazon.
“We strongly disagree with the Italian Competition Authority’s judgment and will appeal,” the company stated.
“Small and medium-sized enterprises have a variety of choices for selling their items both online and offline, including Amazon.
“We are continually investing to assist the growth of the 18,000 Italian SMBs [small and medium-sized enterprises] that sell on Amazon, and we provide a variety of tools to our sellers, including those who manage their own shipping.”
Third-party sellers can use the firm’s Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) service to get Prime benefits without having to employ its own shipping services, according to the company.
It’s the second fine imposed by Italian regulators in as many weeks after both Amazon and Apple were penalized $228 million (£173 million) for restricting Beats headphone sales to a few select retailers. Both Apple and Amazon have stated that they intend to appeal the penalty.
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