This fine is the largest in Europe against an online retailer giant. It was imposed in response to the coronavirus lockdown in Italy that made it impossible for residents to go to stores to purchase items they considered not necessary.
Europe is a leader in efforts to control big tech companies. Most famously, Google was hit with multibillion-dollar penalties in three antitrust trials. As regulators and lawmakers confront digital giants, they are being accused of anything from suppressing competition to failing to stop harmful content from appearing on their platforms, the push is growing in popularity worldwide.
Amazon stated that it disagrees strongly with the decision of the Italian regulator and will appeal. It pointed out that more than half its annual sales are made by small and medium-sized businesses that have access other channels to sell their products.
According to Italy's AGCM authority, Amazon required third-party sellers to use Fulfilment by Amazon. This is harming its position and strengthening its position.
Third-party sellers are also blocked from Amazon Prime's loyalty program. This makes it harder to sell to more than 7,000,000 most-loyal consumers.
The regulator stated that the investigation had shown that such benefits were crucial for gaining visibility, sales, and ultimately, the success of sellers' offers on Amazon.it.
Amazon has been ordered by the authority to provide visibility and sales benefits on Amazon.it to third-party sellers who are able to comply with its Prime service standards.