Amazon investigated by German watchdog for abusing dominance during pandemic

A employee prepares packages for supply at an Amazon warehouse in Brieselang, Germany.

Sean Gallup | Getty Photos

Amazon is being investigated by German authorities for allegedly abusing its market place through the coronavirus pandemic. 

The investigation, being led by the German Federal Cartel Workplace, is Amazon’s relationship with third-party sellers on its platform. It started round April and comes after the Cartel Workplace obtained numerous complaints. 

A spokesperson for the regulator instructed CNBC that it’s “less than a personal platform to be a value regulator or the worth police.” Amazon is utilizing “unknown mechanisms” to control sellers on its platform, they added. 

Amazon didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for remark however on March 23 Amazon mentioned in a weblog put up that value gouging had “no place” on its platform. 

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung was the primary to report the investigation. “We’re presently investigating whether or not and the way Amazon influences retailers’ pricing on {the marketplace},” Cartel Workplace president Andreas Mundt told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview.

The regulator instructed CNBC that Amazon had offered it with a press release after it requested the e-commerce large numerous questions. The responses within the assertion at the moment are being thought of. 

Germany is Amazon’s second-largest market after the U.S.

The Cartel Workplace, which has the facility to high quality corporations tons of of tens of millions of euros, declined to touch upon how lengthy the probe will take.

Amazon’s coronavirus response

It comes after Amazon blocked some retailers for allegedly inflating their costs early on within the pandemic. For instance, there have been quite a few circumstances of third-party Amazon sellers ramping up costs on gadgets like hand sanitizer and masks.

Amazon cracked down on numerous sellers, leaving folks like Tennessee resident Noah Colvin sitting on over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and nowhere to promote them. 

The German probe is the newest in a line of points that Amazon has needed to face because the coronavirus unfold all over the world.

For instance, Amazon has been confronted with coronavirus-related deaths, protests and its response to the pandemic has been more heavily criticized than that of different e-commerce giants, corresponding to Alibaba and in China. 

Warehouse employees in Germany went on strike in June after workers at a number of logistics facilities examined constructive for the coronavirus. The strikes passed off at six of the corporate’s warehouses throughout the nation over two days. German labor union Verdi mentioned that Amazon is endangering the lives of warehouse employees. 

On the time, an Amazon spokesperson mentioned: “We imagine strongly our associates usually are not spreading the virus at work given the strong security measures we have put into place. In contrast to others, anytime there’s a confirmed analysis we alert each particular person on the website. Staff obtain a direct message noting when the particular person with the confirmed analysis was final within the constructing.”

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PJ is the Digital Marketer & Founder of PJ Digital Marketing, has involved in this field from 2010 onwards. Also the owner of a few more sites in different fields.