Amazon threatens multibillion-dollar lawsuit over Buy Box

Britain’s consumer watchdog wants to sue the online giant for its anti-competitive behaviour. According to the plaintiffs, Amazon should give preference to its own collection when offering the product. The claim amounts to more than one billion euros.

British consumer rights advocate Julie Hunt estimates the damage UK consumers have suffered since 2016 as a result of Amazon’s anti-competitive exploits of its supremacy at £900m – the equivalent of just over €1bn. According to a report by Reuters news agency, Hunt plans to file a class action lawsuit against Amazon at the Competition Court of Appeal (CAT) in London.

deprived seller

The lawsuit focuses on the Amazon Buy Box, where the online giant offers products specifically suited to a customer’s intent to buy. According to Hunt, Amazon systematically prefers products that the online giant either sells on its own or that the seller leaves fulfillment to Amazon: “Other sellers, no matter how good their offerings are, are effectively left out.” Reuters also quoted an Amazon spokesperson who dismissed the lawsuit as unfounded, saying it would emerge as the trial progresses.

Already in July, British competition authorities announced that they would take a closer look at Amazon for potential violations of competition law. There, too, the focus is on the question of whether the company’s algorithm favors company-owned offerings.

Also in July this year, Amazon at the EU level attempted to end investigations into competition law and avoid potential penalties. Here too, the question is whether Amazon discriminates against products that Amazon does not sell in the presentation on the show side.

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More lawsuits

Similar lawsuits are being filed all over the world. In September, it was announced that a competition lawsuit had been filed in California. And in the summer, the FBI put Amazon under tighter control.

The London CAT, which is responsible for competition cases, has a reputation as a tough court. In May 2022, the Chamber upheld a £1.7 billion antitrust lawsuit against Apple. And in July, the Committee against Torture gave the green light to a £920m lawsuit against Google.

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