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CMA could investigate Amazon over data fears

The online giant has reportedly been analysed ‘for months’, with particular focus on how it uses data collected through the platform

The CMA is reportedly planning to launch a formal competition investigation into Amazon, following a similar investigation launched by the EU, according to the Financial Times

Three people familiar with the situation reportedly told the FT that the competition watchdog has been analysing the online giant “for months”, with particular focus on how it uses data collected through the platform. 

It has also closely followed how Amazon decides which merchants appear in its ‘buy box’, a panel which highlights the merchants of particular products to customers, the FT reports. 

A further two people close to the situation said an investigation into Amazon could reportedly focus on whether the company favours sellers that also use its own logistics and delivery services when deciding who has access to the ‘buy box’ and to its Prime customers. 

However, the timing and scope of a potential investigation are “still being worked on”, individuals with “direct knowledge” of the plans told the FT. 

The CMA previously investigated Amazon over its interest in acquiring a stake in Deliveroo

Last August, the watchdog approved Amazon’s 16% investment in the food delivery giant, after finding that the move would not “substantially lessen competition”.

Under the deal, which was first announced in 2019, Amazon acquired 16% of Deliveroo as the lead investor in a $575m (£438m) funding. 

At that time, the CMA concluded there was a “realistic prospect” that the transaction could harm competition by, for example, discouraging Amazon from re-entering the online restaurant food market or further developing its presence in the online convenience grocery delivery market in the UK.

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