EU Files Antitrust Charges Against Amazon Over Use of Data

The buy box, found on the right side of Amazon’s site, lets shoppers add items directly to their shopping baskets. The box features a single seller’s product even though multiple merchants might offer it. 

It’s the EU’s latest effort to curb the power of big technology companies, following a series of multibillion dollar antitrust fines against Google GOOG, +0.24% in previous years.

Investigators analyzed data covering 80 million transactions and 100 million products listed on Amazon’s site. Vestager said they found that “very granular, real time business data” on third party product listings and transactions was fed into algorithms for Amazon’s retail business that decide which new products to launch, their price and supplier.

It’s the latest effort by Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, the EU commissioner in charge of competition issues, to curb the power of big technology companies. She has slapped Google with antitrust fines totaling nearly $10 billion and opened twin antitrust investigations this summer into Apple. The U.S. has started taking a tougher line as well, suing Google this year for abusing its dominance in online.

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