Amazon takes advantage of its marketplace dealers with its own brands has systematically copied products for its own brands, according to internal documents. These own brands were then placed in the foreground in the product search. Internal data from the dealers working on the Amazon marketplace was also used to find products suitable for private labels and to identify trends among suppliers and customers.

This emerges from internal documents of the India subsidiary Amazons, reports Reuters. According to this, Amazon has identified successful products from its cooperation partners, among other things, in order to then offer similar products itself. At the same time, Amazon is said to have priced these offers more cheaply and highlighted them in the product search on the website. To make matters worse, the group also advertised these competing products as alternatives on the product page of the original article.

India restricts shopping platforms for foreign companies

India has already introduced e-commerce restrictions that only apply to overseas online retailers. They should act as neutral trading platforms that are available to other traders in a non-discriminatory manner. Indian online retailers reserve the right to sell their own products. Amazon must therefore leave the sale in India to its affiliated retailers, who also offer Amazon's own brands.

According to Reuters, Amazon has also evaluated ratings and return rates in order to improve its own brands. For example, customers would have returned Amazon shirts more often than not because they didn't fit. As a result, the group is said to have adopted sizes such as collar size or waist size from competing products from other brands with lower return rates.

The documents refer to India only. It is not clear whether Amazon is doing this worldwide or only in its most populous market. Marketplace traders have been making corresponding allegations for years.

Last year, the then Amazon boss Jeff Bezos testified in the US parliament that internal corporate regulations prohibit the evaluation of retailer data for own brands. However, he could not guarantee that these regulations had never been violated.

Amazon weighs in, but also in Europe under the microscope

When asked, Amazon itself stated that it could not confirm the authenticity of the documents because Reuters had not presented them. The group considers the allegations to be factually false and unfounded. The product search on Amazon is based on the relevance of the customer request, but not on whether it includes its own brands.

In Europe, Amazon's marketplace is also being scrutinized. The EU Commission sees anti-competitive behavior because Amazon is abusing its dominant position in online trading and systematically using non-public data from retailers on its own marketplace for its own business.

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