EU Launches Amazon Anti-Trust Probe | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

EU Launches Amazon Anti-Trust Probe

Now that the EU's anti-trust regulator is finished fining the bejeezus out of Alphabet, the European Commission is turning its attention to another American tech giant: Amazon.

The e-commerce giant is facing a formal EU anti-trust probe over its treatment of third-party merchants on its platform, a premise that doesn't sound all that different from the EU's investigation into Google's AdSense advertising business (the EU hit Google with three multi-billion anti-trust fines over the past few years). In addition to the Amazon probe, the EU is also juggling investigations into Facebook, Apple and Twitter over violations of the EU's new GDPR privacy laws.

According to WSJ, Amazon is suspected of "abusing its dual role as both the provider of a marketplace where independent sellers can offer products and a retailer of products in its own right." In particular, the probe will explore whether "Amazon is using sensitive data from independent merchants to compete against them."

The investigation could lead to formal charges, fines and orders to change business practices - but they could also be dropped, WSJ says.

Though, if the past is any guide, the latter option is unlikely. Also, the timing of this announcement is interesting, coming one day after Congressional hearings where lawmakers from both parties attacked Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google for their market dominance. That hearing comes just weeks after the DOJ and FTC divvied up oversight of the big tech companies in preparation for what's expected to be a major anti-trust push.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is also very possible, that Google picked the absolutely wrong President to deplatform, as it has done for so many sites supporting President Trump.

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