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European Commission must reject Amazon’s attempt to derail competition investigation


European Commission must reject Amazon’s attempt to derail competition investigation

Amazon is attempting to shut down the European Commission investigation into its competition practices. Together with a coalition of public interest organisations led by the Balanced Economy Project, UNI Europa has called for the European Commission to reject Amazon’s ultimatum.

Following the announcement by the European Commission that it would investigate Amazon for practices that undermined fair competition, Amazon tried to make a deal. It proposed that the Commission drop its investigation and in return the corporation committed to certain points.

The EU Commission rightly responded by publishing Amazon’s deal proposal, opening it up to the public for comment. Together with the Balanced Economy Project and a coalition of public interest organisations, UNI Europa has submitted feedback to European Commission’s request for comment.  

The analysis submitted demonstrates that the conditions Amazon has laid out are not genuine commitments. Amazon does little more than “commit” to complying with upcoming EU legislation.

“Amazon must play by the rules set by governments, not the other way around. We are proud to join the Balanced Economy Project and sister organisations in exposing Amazon’s maneuver for the cheap distraction it is. We refuse to let Europe be turned into a Wild West. Amazon’s top management must be made to understand that laws are not optional, nor does it get to make them. If they have broken the law, they must be held accountable. The only way to uncover the truth about this hugely powerful corporation is through an in-depth investigation with the full weight of the EU institutions behind it,” said Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa.

The true cost of Amazon’s anti-competitive tricks

With its series of recent investigations, court cases and merger prohibitions, the European Commission has been stepping up its much-needed protection of fair competition. Currently, however, the European Commission assesses whether corporations comply with competition legislation based only on the resulting impact on price. UNI Europa urges the European Commission to take the true societal cost of anti-competitive behaviour into account in its assessments.

“When Amazon undermines fair competition and gains market share, it is also expanding its conflictual labour approach. This mammoth corporation is putting huge downward pressure on working conditions for people across the EU. The European Commission must show it has the interests of citizens at heart and take this direct impact into consideration,” said Oliver Roethig.