Amazon faces EU antitrust probe over its third-party marketplace

The EU will investigate whether Amazon breached competition rules with its use of data from independent retailers.

Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown
Amazon logo

Amazon is under the EU's microscope. 

SOPA Images/Getty Images

The European Union's antitrust regulators have opened an investigation into Amazon . The goal is to explore whether the e-commerce giant breached the EU's competition rules with its use of data from independent retailers. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of the EU's competition policy, said European customers shop online for the selection and pricing.

"We need to ensure that large online platforms don't eliminate these benefits through anti-competitive behaviour. I have therefore decided to take a very close look at Amazon's business practices and its dual role as marketplace and retailer, to assess its compliance with EU competition rules," Vestager said Wednesday in a statement. 

In an email, an Amazon representative said the company will cooperate fully with the European Commission and continue working to support businesses of all sizes.

Watch this: Amazon Prime Day has turned us all into shopaholics (The Daily Charge 7/15/2019)

The EU announced the investigation on the heels of Prime Day, the company's biggest sale. While many people shopped, Prime Day also brought out a wave of anti-Amazon protests and activism over everything from climate issues to the company's ties to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Amazon and other tech giants like Facebook and Google have also come under scrutiny from Congress about potential antitrust issues.

Smart displays let Amazon, Facebook, Google show you answers to your questions

See all photos