German antitrust watchdog launches new proceedings against Amazon

  • Germany's Federal Cartel Office has launched a new investigation into whether Amazon is exploiting its market dominance.
  • Should it find that Amazon has "outstanding, cross-market importance," new digital rules would allow it to prohibit any anti-competitive behavior at an earlier stage.
  • The watchdog has already initiated proceedings against Amazon's price control mechanisms and relationships with third-party traders selling on its site.

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  • AMZN

Germany's antitrust watchdog said on Tuesday it has launched a new investigation into whether U.S. ecommerce giant Amazon is exploiting its market dominance.

"In a first step, we are looking at whether Amazon is of outstanding, cross-market importance for competition," the Federal Cartel Office said in a statement.

Should it find that such a marketing position exists, new rules for digital companies would allow it to prohibit any anti-competitive behavior at an earlier stage, the watchdog said.

Changes to Germany's antitrust laws for digital corporations, which came into effect earlier this year, give the Cartel Office more power in identifying and prohibiting some companies' dominant positions.

The Bonn-based authority has already initiated proceedings against Amazon's price control mechanisms and relationships with third-party traders selling on its site.

A spokesman for Amazon said it could not comment on ongoing proceedings.

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