Amazon faces antitrust probe in Canada

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, pictured on Oct. 2, 2019.

Elif Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Canada’s Competition Bureau announced Friday it is launching an investigation into whether Amazon‘s conduct on its marketplace has hurt consumers and companies that do business in the country. 

The antitrust watchdog said its investigation is ongoing and “there is no conclusion of wrongdoing at this time.” The bureau encouraged sellers and businesses to share information with investigators who are zeroing in on whether Amazon Canada is abusing its dominance in the market.

An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC in a statement: “We are cooperating with the Competition Bureau’s review and continue to work hard to support small and medium sized businesses who sell in our Canadian store — and help them grow.”

The bureau said it would examine any Amazon policies that may impact third-party sellers’ willingness to sell their products on competing online marketplaces or their own websites, as well as whether merchants can operate a successful business on the marketplace without using Amazon’s fulfillment or advertising services.It will also look at any ways in which Amazon may influence consumer shopping habits over third-party sellers who sell competing products.

Many of the issues being looked at by the bureau are also top of mind for regulators in the U.S. and in Europe. Amazon reportedly faces an antitrust probe by attorneys general in New York and California, as well as an FTC investigation into its business practices in retail and cloud computing.

The Department of Justice and the House Judiciary Committee have both opened broad antitrust reviews of Big Tech, with the House Judiciary Committee expected to produce a report on its yearlong investigation into Amazon and other tech giants in the coming months.

The European Union’s antitrust watchdog is also reportedly planning to file charges against Amazon over its treatment of third-party sellers. 

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