Amazon has previously said it uses data about individual sellers only to support them or enhance the customers’ experience.

Amazon to face EU antitrust complaint over sales data Inc. faces an antitrust criticism from European Union regulators, escalating an investigation into the way it handles information from rival sellers on its huge on-line retail platform.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief, will announce a so-called assertion of objections on Tuesday concentrating on the world’s greatest on-line retailer, in accordance with individuals with information of the case who spoke on situation of anonymity.

The EU doc will lay out issues that Amazon shortchanges rival sellers — elevating the danger of a possible tremendous as excessive as 10% of yearly gross sales and a attainable order to alter its enterprise mannequin.

The transfer, which escalates a probe into Amazon’s position as each direct retailer and a bunch to different on-line shops, makes the corporate the very best profile Big Tech goal for one of many world’s hardest antitrust regulators. EU regulators are wrestling with how you can act in opposition to on-line giants that critics say run a rigged recreation after they set the principles for platforms that additionally host their opponents.

Amazon and the European Commission declined to remark.

The EU warned final 12 months it was probing suspicions that Amazon may spot best-selling merchandise and begin stocking the identical factor itself — primarily cherry-picking probably the most worthwhile or high-volume items. Amazon’s agreements with market sellers permit the corporate to gather “competitively sensitive information” on what’s promoting and the way a lot of a product retailers might need in inventory, the EU mentioned in a July 2019 assertion.

The objections aren’t prone to concentrate on Amazon’s “buy box” that highlights which retailer provides a product, the individuals mentioned. Most gross sales on {the marketplace} come from merchants, together with Amazon itself, picked for the field by an algorithm. The EU had been what elements Amazon makes use of for that algorithm to see if Amazon used the knowledge to verify its personal merchandise win the prize spot.

Amazon has beforehand mentioned it makes use of information about particular person sellers solely to help them or improve the purchasers’ expertise. It mentioned it doesn’t permit the usage of particular person sellers’ information to compete with them, together with selections Amazon takes to supply, worth or inventory objects.

Regulators quizzed about 1,500 retailers and obtained 700 gigabytes of information from Amazon in an preliminary early-stage investigation into the corporate.

Amazon joins an extended record of U.S. know-how firms focused by Vestager. Google was fined greater than $9 billion after almost a decade of EU investigations. Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. additionally face early-stage probes. Vestager is individually readying new digital guidelines that can set guardrails for the way large tech companies deal with rivals and clients.

While the EU probe is the primary instantly concentrating on Amazon’s on-line retail enterprise mannequin, it’s the third time the corporate has been probed by the regulator, following tax and e-book investigations.