The German Bundeskartellamt Monday expanded two ongoing proceedings against US e-commerce giant Amazon to include the application of §19(a) of the German Competition Act (GWB). Provisions enacted in 2021 enable the Bundeskartellamt to intervene earlier in the regulation of large digital companies and allow for strong and effective “supervision of large digital groups,” says the Bonn Authority.The first proceeding investigates whether Amazon exercises influence on the visibility and pricing of sellers on its Marketplace through price control mechanisms and algorithms. The second examines the extent to which agreements to give brand manufacturers exclusive rights to sell brand name merchandise violate competition law.In July, the Bundeskartellamt formally determined that “is an undertaking of paramount significance for competition across markets.” Therefore, pursuant to the GWB, Amazon and its subsidiaries are subject to extended abuse control. The GWB enables the government to prohibit anti-competitive company practices. The company bears the burden of proof to show that its conduct is objectively justified. Statutory provisions limit the July decision to five years. Amazon appealed the proceedings earlier this year to the Federal Court of Justice (FCJ), but the current proceedings are enforceable until the FCJ rules on the matter.

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