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France fines Amazon over contracts with third-party sellers

France‘s fraud authority said Wednesday that it would fine e-commerce giant Amazon 3.3 million euros ($3.4 million) for its slowness in updating contracts with third-party sellers on its platform.

In a statement, the competition, consumer and anti-fraud office (DGCCRF) said it had already ordered the company to correct “a significant imbalance in contractual conditions to Amazon’s benefit” in December 2021.

Amazon blew past the March 22 deadline to comply, with Wednesday’s penalty corresponding to 90,000 euros per day it failed to make the changes.

The US web giant had already been fined 4.0 million euros by the Paris trade court in 2019 for unfair conditions in its contracts with third-party sellers, the DGCCRF recalled.
“New irregularities” were uncovered in a fresh probe after that judgment, it added.

The fine against Amazon is the first use of a new DGCCRF power allowing it to impose penalties of up to one percent of a company’s worldwide revenue “relative to the seriousness of the harm to economic order”.

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An Amazon spokesman said the company “remains in disagreement with the DGCCRF on its conclusions, its decisions and the relevant penalty, and is contesting each of them in court”.

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