Amazon Ordered To Produce UK, Germany Data In Antitrust Class Action

Amazon’s tactics to limit competition have come under fire from the US courts this week, as the company has been ordered to produce sales data from the United Kingdom and Germany in response to an antitrust class action suit.

The group of US consumers responsible for the court filing argue that Amazon has a price parity policy in place to stifle competition, and that the European sales data will allow them to measure the effect this policy has had on third-party sellers in the US. The judge overseeing the case determined that the European data has ‘a critical role to play in determining damages in this case’ and thus must be submitted by Amazon.

The lawsuit against Amazon was initially brought in March 2020, when the complainants argued that the company had been engaging in unfair pricing practices. Specifically, it was alleged that Amazon had been using price parity provisions to prevent third-party sellers from offering goods below the cost they sell them on Amazon Marketplace.

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In response, Amazon filed an objection to having to provide the European data, stating that they had already agreed to produce a ‘massive’ amount of sales data relating to its business in the US. The judge rejected this argument, however, suggesting that the data from external markets is necessary in judging the damages incurred due to Amazon’s alleged anti-competitive practices.

The complainants further argued that prior to revocation in the UK and Germany, Amazon had imposed its price parity regulations on merchants since 2010. As of March 2019, the Amazon class action claims, the provisions remained in effect in the US.

The US Courts have spoken. Amazon must produce European sales data they had hoped to avoid to prove or disprove the price parity policy that consumers argue the company uses to limit competition. The judge on the complaint believes the evidence is critical to judging any damages resulting from the alleged anti-competitive practices, and the case proceeds forward.