Rs 8000 Crore Lawsuit Against Amazon For Abusing Competition, Favoring Own Products

In Britain, the ecommerce leader Inc (AMZN.O) is facing a lawsuit for damages of up to 900 million pounds ($1 billion) over allegations for favoring own products.

Rs 8000 Crore Lawsuit Against Amazon For Abusing Competition, Favoring Own Products

Consumer rights advocate Julie Hunter plans to bring the collective action on behalf of British consumers who have made purchases on Amazon since October 2016, lawyers representing her said.

Lawsuit “Without Merit” says Amazon

It would be the latest mass action against a tech giant to be filed at London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). The ecommerce giant said that the case was “without merit”. 

As per the lawyer of Hunter, Amazon has breached competition law by using “a secretive and self-favouring algorithm” to promote its own products through the “Buy Box” feature on its website.

In a statement, Hunter said that “Far from being a recommendation based on price or quality, the Buy Box favours products sold by Amazon itself, or by retailers who pay Amazon for handling their logistics. Other sellers, however good their offers might be, are effectively shut out.”

In a statement, the spokesperson of ecommerce company said that “This claim is without merit and we’re confident that will become clear through the legal process.”

By the end of this month, the lawsuit is expected to be filed at the CAT and will have to be certified by the tribunal before it can proceed.

It is being brought on an “opt-out” basis, meaning that any potential claimants will be included in the claim unless they choose to opt out.

Suspicion Over The “Buy Box” Feature

The case after the Britain’s antitrust watchdog said that it is investigating Amazon over suspected breaches of competition law. This included how it selects which products are placed within the “Buy Box” feature.

The company has faced similar probes elsewhere. It made an offer to the European Commission to avert possible hefty EU antitrust fines.

The platform has also declined to describe its product-search system to an Australian competition regulator which has heard complaints of large marketplace platforms giving preference to in-house wares.

CAT had previously authorized an estimated 920 million-pound ($1.1 billion) damages claim against Google (GOOGL.O) in July. In the month of May, it also approved another case worth up to 1.7 billion pounds against Apple (AAPL.O).

There is also a claim valued at up to 2.2 billion pounds against Meta Platforms (META.O) over alleged anti-competitive behavior, and by the month of January the tribunal will also decide upon whether to give the go-ahead to it. 

According to the court filings, tech giants Google and Apple have denied the allegations against them.

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