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British authority to investigate Amazon’s usage of data

Britain’s competition authority considers a formal antitrust probe into e-commerce company Amazon.com Inc, citing three unidentified people familiar with the issue.

The Competition and Markets Authority has been looking into Amazon’s operation for months, with the regulator focused on how the online retailer utilizes the data it obtains on its platform.

The regulator has also looked at how Amazon chooses which merchants display in the key ‘purchase box,’ which is the white panel to the right of a product where customers click to add it to their basket.

According to the sources, an investigation into Amazon could focus on whether the business favours merchants that also use its logistics and shipping services when selecting who has access to the buy box and its Prime users. 

The investigation was anticipated to cover similar terrain to inquiries currently underway in the European Union. Two investigations against Amazon are presently underway in Brussels: one is looking at how the business is exploiting data to promote its products at the expense of competitors. The other is looking into the criteria for using the purchase box.

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