The Bundeskartellamt classifies the online giant as a company with “outstanding cross-market importance for competition”. Amazon does not agree with this.

After Google and the Facebook group Meta, the Federal Cartel Office also wants Amazon to enforce stricter competition controls. The authority classified the online giant on Wednesday as a company with “outstanding cross-market importance for competition”.

Unlike Google and Meta, Amazon does not accept the decision. “We do not agree with the findings of the Federal Cartel Office and will carefully examine the decision and our options, including legal remedies,” said a first reaction.

Since 2021, the Cartel Office has been able to prohibit companies with cross-market influence, for example practices that it believes endanger competition. Google parent Alphabet was identified as one such company in January, with Meta following in May. Investigations are still ongoing at Apple.

Dual role as dealer and marketplace

“Amazon is the central key player in the field of e-commerce,” said Cartel Office President Andreas Mundt. On the one hand, the authority sees a “central strategic position in German online retailing” for Amazon’s trading platform. Other retailers can use the platform to sell their items on Amazon. “We consider Amazon to be dominant in its marketplace services for third-party retailers,” emphasized Mundt. The classic abuse control also applies here. Amazon can control other companies’ access to sales and procurement markets, playing out its dual role as a retailer and marketplace.

The Cartel Office also refers to the Prime subscription service, which, in addition to free delivery, also includes access to music and video services. More than 17 million users registered with have a Prime subscription, the authority wrote.

The company replied: “Amazon is first and foremost a retailer” – and the overall share of e-commerce in German retail sales for 2021 was estimated by the German Retail Association at just 14.7 percent. You compete with many established German and international companies, and that also applies to the company’s business in other sectors.