On Thursday, Italy’s antitrust watchdog said Amazon had been fined $1.3 billion for alleged abuse of market dominance, in one of the biggest penalties imposed on a US giant tech group in Europe.
Amazon, however, said they strongly disagreed with the regulator’s decision and would appeal. In a statement, Italy’s watchdog said that Amazon had leveraged its dominant position in the Italian market for intermediation services in the marketplaces to favour the adoption of its own logistics services.
The authorization said Amazon tied the use of FBA access to a set of exclusive benefits, including the Prime label, that help increase visibility and boost sales on Amazon.it.
The Prime label makes it easier to sell to the more than 7 million most loyal and high-spending consumer members of Amazon’s loyalty program.
The antitrust authority also said that corrective steps, subject to review, would be imposed under trustee monitoring. However, Amazon said that FBA is a completely optional service and the majority of third-party sellers on Amazon do not use it.
“When sellers choose FBA, they do so because it is efficient, convenient, and competitive in terms of price,” the US group disclosed in a statement. They also added that the proposed fines and remedies are unjustified and disproportionate.