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Antitrust Case, Italy Fines Amazon $1.3 Billion

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Italy’s antitrust regulator fined amazon Inc. $1.3 billion for harming competitors by using its online shopping dominance to coerce Italian sellers to use its logistics service, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Subsequently, the Italian regulator also asked Amazon to present corrective non-discriminatory standards for listings from third-party sellers, which the monitoring trustee will scrutinize.

The penalty is part of the years-long dispute over online antitrust issues against Amazon and other large digital giants in Europe and overseas for allegedly abusing their market power to crush smaller competitors.

The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM), Italy’s antitrust watchdog, is mainly concerned with the benefits Amazon provides to merchants on its platform who also pay to utilize its logistics service in this recent verdict. FBA sellers may use the Prime fulfillment label on their products and participate in Amazon events like Prime Day and Black Friday.

According to AGCM’s two-year study, Amazon’s market share in online marketplaces was up to five times that of its closest rival in 2019, and the gap has expanded significantly over the last four years. AGCM also said Amazon accounted for more than 70% of the total value of third-party merchants’ goods sales on online marketplaces in Italy in 2019.

The fine levied on Amazon is now the highest ever handed out in Europe. Italian antitrust officials penalized Amazon and Apple last month for allegedly collaborating to limit the supply of Apple and Beats merchandise. However, Amazon’s sanction was only $77 million, a pittance compared to the present ruling. Both corporations, however, are presently debunking the case.

The magnitude of the fine, according to the ACGM, demonstrates the severity of Amazon’s approach and its long-term nature.

Amazon said it would dispute the penalties and measures set by Italian authorities, calling them unjustified and disproportionate. If the first court confirms the fine and remedies, Amazon can appeal to a higher court in Italy. The court may potentially opt to lessen the punishment or modify Amazon’s mandated measures.

James is a content writer whose experience has allowed him to assist other freelance writers in raising their approval ratings and audience reach to be on par with top writers on their respective platforms. He has covered project management, automobiles, weddings, Alfresco dining, vacations, and lifestyle topics. He believes in the power of creative thinking and hopes to leave a mark to reckon with in the sands of time.

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