To safeguard consumer interests, the European Commission has escalated its investigation into Jeff Bezos’s Amazon, demanding comprehensive clarification on measures ensuring consumer protection against illicit products.
The Commission’s request, delivered on Wednesday, November 15, has drawn attention to Amazon’s adherence to risk assessment and mitigation obligations.
European authorities are invested in upholding the Digital Services Act (DSA) implemented in late August. This regulatory framework necessitates compliance from major internet companies, including Amazon, imposing stringent obligations to ensure consumer safety.
“The Commission must ensure that companies adhere to the risk assessment and mitigation obligations aimed at protecting consumers,” stated a Commission representative.
This latest inquiry follows a similar investigation into AliExpress earlier this month, indicating Brussels’ firm stance against the distribution of illegal goods across online platforms. Notably, these actions align with the Commission’s commitment to penalize companies breaching DSA regulations, with potential fines reaching up to 6% of global turnover.
“Amazon must provide the requested information to the Commission no later than December 6, 2023. Based on the evaluation of Amazon’s responses, the Commission will determine the next steps,” emphasized the statement.
This move against Amazon isn’t the first of its kind; in 2020, the EU lodged antitrust charges against the company, accusing it of leveraging third-party merchant data unfairly. Amazon’s dual role as a marketplace operator and seller has repeatedly been scrutinized in Europe and the United States.
“This inquiry extends beyond Amazon’s distribution practices; it also examines the protection of fundamental rights and the compliance of recommendation systems with new regulations,” explained a legal expert.
The Commission’s broader inquiry into major online platforms also encompasses Meta (parent company of Facebook and Instagram) and Snap (Snapchat), with a specific focus on protecting minors’ well-being.
This investigation signifies the Commission’s proactive measures in scrutinizing online platforms’ responsibilities beyond consumer protection.