Tech Industry

Amazon fined $1.3B by Italian regulator for abusing dominance

Amazon's business practices are coming under increasing regulatory scrutiny around the world.

Italy has issued Amazon an antitrust fine.
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Italy's competition authority slapped Amazon with a 1.13 billion euro ($1.3 billion) fine on Thursday, accusing the company of abusing its market dominance. 

The fine followed an investigation during which the regulator found that Amazon was positioned to leverage its own logistics operator, Fulfilment by Amazon, putting rival logistics services at a disadvantage. Fulfilment by Amazon is tied to Amazon Prime, the paid service for the company's most loyal customers, which third-party sellers have no access to, said the regulator.

As well as the fine, Amazon will have to grant sales benefits and visibility to third-party sellers on Amazon.it, with its behavior overseen by a monitoring trustee.

That didn't sit well with Amazon.

"We strongly disagree with the decision of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) and we will appeal," said a spokesperson for Amazon in a statement. "The proposed fine and remedies are unjustified and disproportionate."

Countries around the world are upping regulatory scrutiny of tech companies, which due to the international scope of their businesses are obliged to abide by many different sets of laws. This is far from the first time Amazon has fallen foul of European competition law. Last year, the EU hit Amazon with antitrust charges, as well as announcing a second investigation into the company. Meanwhile, the retailer is also subject to an antitrust investigation in the US.