FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Amazon has reached a deal with Germany’s anti-trust authority to overhaul its terms of service for third-party merchants, who had complained of unfair treatment when selling through the world’s biggest online retailer.
The Federal Cartel Office said on Wednesday it was dropping a seven-month investigation after the U.S. e-commerce giant agreed to amend its Business Services Agreement that applies to merchants using its platform.
Changes - Effect - Days - Germany - Amazon
It added the changes, to take effect in 30 days, would apply not only to Germany, Amazon’s No. 2 market after the United States, but also to its country sites in Britain, France, Italy and Spain, as well as “in America and Asia.”
“We have achieved far-reaching improvements for retailers on Amazon’s marketplaces,” cartel office chief Andreas Mundt said in a statement. “We are dropping our investigation.”
Amazon - Changes - Business - Solutions - Agreement
Responding, Amazon said the changes to its Business Solutions Agreement would clarify the rights and responsibilities of selling partners that account for 58% of physical merchandise sales on its platform.
“We’ll continue working hard, investing heavily, and inventing new tools and services to help our selling partners around the world reach new customers and grow their business,” said Amazon.
Silicon - Valley - Giants - Scrutiny - Europe
Silicon Valley’s tech giants have come under increasingly intense scrutiny in Europe, with Alphabet’s Google hit with billions of euros in fines for breaches of European Union competition rules.
Germany’s anti-trust regulator, while subordinate to Brussels in many regards, has also been active, ordering Facebook to change how it handles user data after finding the social network abused its market dominance.
Facebook - Decision - Contrast - Amazon - Regulator
Facebook has challenged that decision, in contrast to Amazon which came to a relatively quick understanding with the German regulator. No fines had been foreseen in the Amazon case.
At issue is the power of so-called platform companies that provide a venue for others,...
Wake Up To Breaking News!
Hell sometimes looks an awful lot like an office cubicle.