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July 6, 2022, 7:48 a.m. EDT

UK Competition Regulator Launches Probe Into Amazon -- Update

By Jaime Llinares Taboada

The U.K. competition regulator said Wednesday that it has launched an investigation into Amazon.com Inc. over anticompetitive behaviour on its retail platform.

The Competition and Markets Authority said the probe will consider whether the U.S. group has a dominant position in the U.K. and whether it is distorting competition to favor its own retail business or sellers, compared with other third-party sellers on the Amazon U.K. Marketplace.

"Thousands of U.K. businesses use Amazon to sell their products and it is important they are able to operate in a competitive market. Any loss of competition is a loss to consumers," Sarah Cardell, General Counsel at the CMA, said.

Amazon said in a statement that it will cooperate with the regulator. "We will work closely with the CMA during their investigation, although we believe we've always worked hard to help small businesses selling on Amazon to succeed, which is in both their and our best interests," a spokesperson for the company said.

The CMA noted that it hasn't reached any conclusions yet as to whether or not competition law has been infringed.

The regulator said this probe follows a current European Commission investigation looking into similar concerns.

The CMA previously opened an investigation into Amazon and Google over concerns that they haven't been doing enough to tackle fake reviews.

Write to Jaime Llinares Taboada at jaime.llinares@wsj.com; @JaimeLlinaresT

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