Amazon has been charged by the European Commission with breaking competition rules by abusing its dominant position in online retail.
Amazon has said to have used data on the third-party sellers that use its platform to gain an advantage. Amazon has rejected the charges but if found guilty, faces a potential fine of around £15bn.
Cas Paton, Founder and CEO of online marketplace, OnBuy, said, “on behalf of every business which trades through eCommerce platforms, I am delighted to see that the European Commission has today taken the first step to address Amazon’s monopoly on the eCommerce market.
“While Amazon can try to argue that it has offered consumers more, not less, choice, I have personally heard many reports by sellers that Amazon has undercut their prices, sourced identical products and strangled their sales opportunities. Ecommerce platforms should be designed to support small business, not to trample upon them to line their own pockets.
“During the first UK lockdown, when many small businesses were fearing for their future and should have been able to benefit from the surge in online shopping, Amazon put its sellers at a disadvantage, crippling their cash flow by restricting sales of ‘non-essential’ product ranges in favour of retailing their own products.
“Any eCommerce platform that positions itself in direct competition with its sellers has a flawed business model. That’s why I started OnBuy.com – to create a fairer, more ethical sales platform and a level playing field for all.
“Amazon cannot claim to be a company that cares about small businesses when it continues to act in a way that puts so many livelihoods at risk. Many OnBuy sellers have come to us when looking for an alternative to Amazon, fearing that without spreading risk across multiple platforms, their sales and revenue could be eaten up by Amazon’s approach.
“Traders and sellers have been campaigning for over a year for Amazon’s monopoly to be addressed. We need to see change before Amazon’s policies bring about the demise of many SMEs which sell through the platform.”