The Austrian authority overseeing free competition (BWB) announced on Thursday that it has launched an investigation against Amazon. This will happen on grounds of suspicion that the company violates antitrust laws of Austria and the European Union (EU).
The regulator said it would examine the conditions under which the US company offers Austrian retailers access to its platform. This was after receiving complaints in December 2018 about “unfair business practices.”
“There is a suspicion, among other things, that Amazon harms other merchants in its market. Therefore, it tries to favor its own offers,” the BWB said in a statement.
“After an initial analysis of the facts, discussions with the European Commission and with the German Federal Cartel Office, the BWB has opened a preliminary investigation into alleged violations of the Austrian and European antitrust laws,” the regulator added.
The complaints received are due to the sudden suspension of accounts for companies in the sales platform, the obligation to disclose data on prices and the delivery of incorrect customer addresses by Amazon.
The objective of the investigation, said the BWB, is therefore to determine if Amazon applies measures that reduce free competition. Consequently, failure to apply the measures violates the Austrian and European antitrust rules.
Created 25 years ago, the electronic commerce giant Amazon last January became the company with the highest stock market value in the world. The stock market value amounted to almost 800,000 million dollars.