France Seeks To Fine Amazon For Abusing Its Price Power

19. December 2017.

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According to new reports, France’s government has filed a formal complaint against Amazon alleging the eCommerce giant has abused its position in the market. The filing follows a two-year investigation by France’s local answer to the CFPB: the DGCCRF.

According to news from Reuters, citing French newspaper Le Parisien, the Ministry of Economy and Finance is seeking to levy a €10 million (~$11.8 million) fine.

“The platform imposes unbalanced relations to its vendors,” DGCCRF official Loic Tanguy tells Le Parisien.

Amazon has no official response to the move by the French regulatory body, noting in an email with TechCrunch that they “do not comment on outstanding legal proceedings.”

The French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has also been unavailable for comment.

Le Parisien’s reporting indicates that the complaint stems from Amazon’s ability to unilaterally change contract terms on over 10,000 French companies using its eCommerce marketplace platform to sell goods. The complaint also references Amazon’s ability to suspend contracts at will.

Amazon has faced other issues in the EU in 2017. Earlier this year, the firm was forced to rewrite Kindle eBook contracts after an EU antitrust investigation judged the company had suppressed competition by imposing unfair terms on publishers. Amazon has also squared off with the EU officially over taxation. Earlier this fall, EU officials ordered Amazon to pay $295 million in back taxes, asserting it had been given illegal tax benefits in Luxembourg, where its corporate headquarters is based.

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