Amazon could soon face an antitrust investigation in the European Union, according to a report on Tuesday.
Continue Reading Below
European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is set to announce an expanded investigation within days, Bloomberg reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter. The investigation would build on a preliminary probe, which began last September, into whether Amazon is misusing sales data to gain an advantage over third-party sellers on its platform.
Previous EU investigations into U.S. tech firms, including Qualcomm and Google, have resulted in hefty fines. Amazon’s third-party marketplace represents a growing portion of its overall sales.
Amazon officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the situation. EU representatives declined to comment.
Under Vestager’s leadership, European regulators have cracked down on U.S. tech firms. Alphabet-owned Google has been fined more than $9 billion since 2017 for a variety of infractions, including a $5 billion fine in July 2018 after antitrust regulators found that the tech giant used its Android software on smartphones to unfairly push users toward its search engine.
Amazon and other tech leaders have faced similar antitrust scrutiny from U.S. regulators. The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice are said to be exploring probes into the tech industry’s business practices, with a particular focus on Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.
Representatives from all four companies are set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee at an antitrust hearing on Tuesday.