Germany Investigates Amazon’s Competitive Practices

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Germany is going to investigate whether and how Amazon has affected the pricing of third-party sellers on its platform.


Amazon banned some third-party sellers from its website in the first months of the corona crisis. It did so because they overcharged prices for certain goods.

But that approach now ensures that the German Federal Cartel Office will investigate the case further, says the chairman of the office in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. After all, it’s not up to Amazon to determine what sellers want to charge for their products.

Amazon informs Reuters that with that policy, it wants to ensure that prices on its website are competitive. Third-party providers are free to choose their prices, but the system behind Amazon’s online store has been developed to prevent sudden price increases.

In addition, Reuters notes that it is not the first time that Amazon has been tackled for such practices.

In 2013, the company was criticized for obliging third-party sellers not to make their products more expensive on Amazon than on other websites. Last year, Germany dropped another investigation after Amazon changed its terms for third-party providers.

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