This is one of the largest fines imposed by a state against the background of practices considered harmful to competition against a giant US technology company targeted in several countries.
“Amazon has harmed operators competing with it in e-commerce logistics,” the authority said in a statement.
In response to a question by Agence France-Presse, the American company expressed its “strong opposition” to this punishment, which will file an appeal against it. It also considered that “the fine and the proposed corrective measures are unjustified and disproportionate.”
On Thursday, the Italian competition regulator considered that Amazon’s dominant position in the Italian market “enabled it to promote its logistics services … to active sellers on its platform at the expense of competing operators.”
She added that sellers who do not use Amazon’s logistics service are deprived of “a range of essential benefits to highlight their products and improve sales prospects.”
By doing so, the US company “harmed competing e-commerce logistics service providers by preventing them from presenting themselves to online sellers as service providers of quality comparable to Amazon’s logistics,” according to the authority.
It concluded that this strategy “widened the gap between the strength of Amazon and the strength of its competitors” in the Italian market.
Countries in the European Union have doubled down on financial sanctions against US and Chinese digital giants in recent months in an effort to further regulate their activities.
A spokeswoman for the European Commission confirmed that the latter “cooperated closely” with the Italian competition regulator in this investigation, which it considered “an example of successful coordination”.
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