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The EU’s Competition Investigation into Amazon’s Marketplace

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In September 2018, the European Commission (“EC”) sent out formal requests for information (“RFIs”) to investigate allegations of an anticompetitive conduct by Amazon. The investigation relates to the interdependencies between Amazon’s third-party sales platform for retailers (“Amazon Marketplace”) and Amazon’s own online retail operations. Operating both on an upstream intermediation market for businesses (“merchants”) and downstream retail markets vis-à-vis its end customers (“shoppers”) has created a strong conflict of interest for Amazon. This article outlines the background to the EC’s investigation and the current focus and likely theories of harm regarding Amazon’s conduct involved in the investigation.

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