Amazon agrees to change certain business practices in EU regulation
Placement inside the Buy Box is a major sales driver for businesses selling on Amazon, but if Amazon sees a product for sale at a lower price on another site, it will remove those two buttons and replace them with less appealing language and designs, which can significantly reduce sales.
“A price is considered uncompetitive even if it is only a penny above reputable retailers outside of Amazon,” explained Varun Soni, who leads Amazon’s seller pricing team. , at a conference in October.
Amazon, led since last year by Andy Jassy, who replaced Jeff Bezos as chief executive, has previously argued that its Buy Box policies help consumers by keeping prices low and delivery times short. But its design has been a source of antitrust scrutiny.
In September, the California attorney general sued Amazon, arguing that sellers often raise their prices on other websites to match the price on Amazon and maintain their Buy Box placement, to the detriment of consumers.
The California lawsuit argued that it costs third-party sellers more to sell items on Amazon, so they can’t afford to lower prices on the site. Merchants would rather charge more at other sites to recoup the Buy Box than risk cutting sales at Amazon, by far the largest online retailer, according to the suit.
In the EU settlement, Amazon also agreed to stop using non-public data about merchants it competes with. Independent merchants who rely on Amazon to reach their customers have long complained that the company uses information about sales conditions, revenue and inventory to make decisions about which products to create, sell and promote, like its range. of Amazon Basics products.
In another win for independent merchants, sellers could also participate in Amazon’s Prime program, its popular membership service, without using the company’s logistics business. This change will give sellers the ability to partner with other vendors to manage inventory and shipping.
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