More eyes on Amazon private label practices

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Two states and the European Union reportedly are bringing more heat to the fire over Amazon’s relationships with third-party sellers, particularly how it allegedly uses third-party seller data to give its own brands an advantage online.

The Wall Street Journal reported that investigators in California are looking into business practices by Amazon and that the European Union’s antitrust regulator is expected to file a formal complaint against the tech giant. The WSJ reported that the EU could be filing this week.

The publication first reported an investigative piece looking into how Amazon uses third-party seller data to give its private label products a competitive advantage online, which fired up the U.S. House Judiciary Committee to request an interview with Amazon and leader Jeff Bezos regarding the practices. Amazon wrote back that it has been cooperating with the U.S. government and that it is not doing anything out of bounds, at least compared to any other brick-and-mortar retailer.

The New York Times also reported that California investigators have been looking into Amazon’s private label products for several months, and added that the Washington attorney general’s office is reviewing whether Amazon is making it harder for third-party sellers to sell on its platform, giving an advantage to its private brands.

Amazon has not responded to these latest reports.