Independent UK retailers claim £1bn damages against Amazon

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Independent UK retailers person launched nan biggest ever unit people action pinch a £1bn declare for damages against Amazon, which they allege has been pushing them retired of its online marketplace.

The claim, brought by astir 35,000 sellers and headed by nan British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), asserts that betwixt October 2015 and nan coming day, Amazon utilized non-public information belonging to nan retailers to pass nan motorboat of its ain rival products.

It besides alleges that Amazon manipulated entree to its “buy box”, wherever astir income connected nan level return place, to divert shoppers distant from independent retailers to its ain items.

Bira said Amazon was already charging its members a “non-negotiable 30% committee connected each merchandise sold connected nan site” and claims that, by “misusing their proprietary information to bring to marketplace rival products that are sold cheaper, Amazon is efficaciously pushing galore of nan UK’s independent retailers retired of nan market”.

“The consequences of Amazon’s abusive behaviour person been to inflate its profits and harm nan UK unit sector, particularly nan smaller independent retailers who are struggling astatine a clip of difficult economical circumstances,” nan waste and acquisition assemblage said.

Bira said it would record much than 1,150 pages of documents pinch nan title entreaty tribunal (Cat) successful London that group retired nan declare against Amazon.

Andrew Goodacre, nan main executive of Bira, said: “One mightiness ask, why would an independent retailer usage Amazon if it is truthful damaging to their business? In reality, we person seen a important displacement successful user buying behaviour and, if mini businesses want to waste online, Amazon is nan ascendant marketplace successful nan UK.

“As a result, for mini retailers pinch constricted resources, Amazon is nan marketplace to commencement online trading.”

A spokesperson for Amazon said: “We person not seen this complaint, but based connected nan reporting truthful acold we are assured that it is baseless and that this will beryllium exposed successful nan ineligible process. Over 100,000 mini and mean sized businesses successful nan UK waste connected Amazon’s store, much than half of each beingness merchandise income connected our UK shop are from independent trading partners, and nan truth is that we only win erstwhile nan businesses we activity pinch succeed.”

In 2022 nan UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into whether Amazon had been giving its ain brands and those utilizing its logistics services unfair advantage complete third-party rivals connected its marketplace.

The UK investigation, and a akin investigation by nan EU Commission, came aft a drawstring of reports alleging that Amazon utilized third-party sellers’ information to transcript products.

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In November past year, nan investigation closed aft nan patient agreed to springiness independent sellers a adjacent chance of their offers being featured successful nan site’s “buy box”. It had until 3 May to instrumentality that directive.

Amazon was besides prevented from utilizing marketplace information it obtains from third-party sellers to springiness itself an unfair competitory advantage and agreed to let sellers to discuss their transportation rates straight pinch independent providers.

Amazon had already made akin commitments successful December 2022 successful consequence to nan EU investigation.

Source theguardian