Amazon.com Inc. struck a deal with Germany and Austria to shut down antitrust probes into how it handles other merchants on its site, just as it faces a bigger European Union investigation into its use of sellers’ data.
Amazon said it will make changes to its Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement from Aug. 16 to address issues raised by the German and Austrian regulators. Those probes targeted terms of business, liability provisions, contract clauses on where sellers could sue the company and the process of blocking and closing sellers’ accounts. Amazon’s rules on returns and reimbursements for customers will be unchanged, the German Cartel Office said.
Amazon is also promising to roll out its Vine rating program to marketplace sellers who own a brand name registered with Amazon, the Cartel Office said. This is a response to sellers’ complaints that Amazon prefers its own sales as a retailer because it removes product reviews from external providers. Amazon argued that it’s acting against a considerable risk of fake reviews, the office said.
Reporting by Stephanie Bodoni and Aoife White with assistance from Matthias Wabl.