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German competition watchdog launches probe against Amazon

AFP  |  Berlin 

German regulators on Thursday opened a probe into whether giant was abusing its dominant position to obstruct competition from rival on its

The said it would look closely at Amazon's practices after receiving "many complaints" from retailers and manufacturers selling goods through its German website de.

"functions as a kind of 'gatekeeper' for customers", Andreas Mundt, of Germany's Federal Cartel Office, said in a statement.

"Its double role as the largest retailer and largest marketplace has the potential to hinder other on its platform."

The probe is the latest setback for Amazon after the in September opened a preliminary investigation into suspicions the retailer uses the data it has about its third-party to gain a competitive edge.

The said its investigation would "supplement" the probe.

The German watchdog said it would examine Amazon's "terms of and practices towards sellers", including taking a closer look at rules for product reviews, use of data and the "non-transparent" blocking or closing of sellers' accounts.

In a statement to AFP, Amazon said it could not comment on ongoing proceedings.

"But we will fully cooperate with the and continue to work on supporting the growth of small and middle-sized companies," a said.

The company pointed out German SMEs had sold 2.1 billion euros (USD 2.4 billion) in goods around the world through Amazon last year.

The probe comes as US tech giants Amazon, Facebook, and are increasingly under scrutiny in amid heightened concerns about data privacy and market dominance.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 20:35 IST