The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has secured commitments from Amazon and Meta to help protect fair competition on their online marketplace platforms.
Amid growing concerns that Amazon was abusing its dominant position to gain an unfair advantage over third-party sellers, the CMA launched an investigation in July last year into potential anticompetitive practices that favoured its retail business over competing sellers on Amazon Marketplace.
As a result of the CMA’s investigation, Amazon has voluntarily committed to giving independent sellers a fair chance of their offers being featured in its ‘Buy Box’ – its primary sales platform.
The CMA said it will also prevent Amazon from using the data it obtains from third-part sellers to give itself an unfair competitive advantage and will allow sellers to negotiate their own delivery rates directly with the providers of Prime delivery services to create a more level playing field.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has also pledges to adhere to new commitments that prevent the misuse of its advertising customers’ date.
Commenting on the development, the CMA said: “Having assessed the commitments and the feedback received, including from sellers, advertisers and customers, we believe both sets of commitments address the specific concerns we had here in the UK.”
The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), however, has expressed scepticism as to whether these encouraging commitments given to the CMA will produce tangible benefits.
Bira chief executive Andrew Goodacre said: “We remain unconvinced that this will significantly help the indie retailers who trade on these platforms. These companies still have a huge amount of control over how things are sold and how much it costs the retailers. These changes do not address the negative impact these work practices were having on the small businesses using the platforms.”