Amazon sues EU antitrust regulators for letting Italian case go ahead



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen on the door of an Amazon Books retail store in New York

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Amazon (NASDAQ:) is suing EU antitrust regulators for allowing the Italian competition watchdog to pursue its own case against the U.S. online retail giant over the way it selects sellers, arguing that this should be wrapped into an EU investigation.

Amazon took its case to the Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe’s second-highest, on Tuesday, asking it to annul the EU’s decision to exclude Italy from the wider investigation, a court filing shows.

The move came two months after the European Commission opened an investigation into the criteria the company uses to select winners of its “buy box”, which allows customers to add items from a specific retailer directly into their shopping carts.

The probe will also examine whether the company gives preferential treatment to its own retail offers and marketplace sellers that use its logistics and delivery services.

The Italian case was launched in 2019 over the same issue but focuses on the Italian logistics markets.

Amazon said the EU should absorb the Italian case for the sake of consistency and efficiency.

“When the European Commission decides to investigate a matter, European law says that national competition authorities cannot investigate the same topic. This did not occur in this instance, as the Commission’s opening decision attempts to exclude Italy,” Amazon said in a statement.

The Commission said it would defend its case in court.

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Last November it charged Amazon with damaging retail competition by using its size, power and data to gain an unfair advantage over smaller merchants that sell on its online platform.

The case is T19/21.

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