British watchdog investigating Amazon's use of data


The Financial Times, citing three unidentified people familiar with the situation, revealed that the British Competition Authority is planning to conduct a formal investigation into competition with the e-commerce company Amazon, and the newspaper said that the Competition and Markets Authority has been analyzing Amazon's business since months, adding that the regulator is focusing on how the online retailer uses the data it collects on its platform.


The report added that the regulator also examined how Amazon identifies merchants that appear in the 'important' purchase box - the white panel on the right side of a product where buyers click to add the item to their cart. Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.


The newspaper, citing sources, said the company's investigation may focus on whether Amazon favors merchants who also use its logistics and delivery services when deciding who has access to the purchase fund and its main customers, and added that the timing and scope of the investigation are still being worked out.


According to the report, the investigation is likely to cover similar ground to investigations underway in the European Union, and Brussels has two open investigations into Amazon - one looking into how the company uses data to develop its products at the expense of potential competitors, and the other looking at criteria for using the buyout fund.

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