Amazon’s operations in Germany are set to come under further scrutiny after the country’s competition watchdog announced it would launch a probe claims its pricing policies banning third-party sellers from lowering prices on other commerce sites.
According to German newspaper Handelsblatt, the Federal Cartel Office (or Bundeskartellamt) said in a statement that it had already begun speaking to thousands of third-party sellers using Amazon’s marketplace to sell their goods online.
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Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt says Amazon might be breaching cartel rules in the country, if it is found to be restricting product pricing: “Amazon’s price parity clause – which denies traders the freedom of offering a product cheaper elsewhere – may breach general cartel rules.”
“This is particularly the case if restricting a trader’s price-setting freedom also hampers competition between different Internet market places,” Mundt added.
It’s another blow for Amazon in Germany; Today’s action follows a damning TV documentary accusing the company of using a security firm with ties to neo-Nazi organisations at one of its logistics centers.
Conducting an investigation, Amazon fired its German security contractors, stating that it has a ”zero tolerance limit for discrimination and intimidation and expects the same of other companies it works with.”