Amazon Faces $1.3 Billion UK Lawsuit Over Users Data Misuse

Amazon faces a $1.3 billion lawsuit from UK retailers, accused of misusing their data to boost profits. The lawsuit, filed by BIRA, aims to protect small businesses.

Jun 6, 2024 - 11:16
Jun 6, 2024 - 11:16
Amazon Faces $1.3 Billion UK Lawsuit Over Users Data Misuse
Amazon Faces $1.3 Billion UK Lawsuit Over Users Data Misuse

Amazon is being hit with a collective lawsuit from British retailers, accusing the online giant of misusing their data to bolster its own market share and profits. The lawsuit, filed by the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), represents around 35,000 small retailers and seeks £1 billion ($1.3 billion) in damages.

Details of the Lawsuit

BIRA, an umbrella organization for numerous small traders, filed the lawsuit at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in London. The suit alleges that Amazon exploited non-public data from retailers selling on its Marketplace to offer cheaper competing products directly to consumers.

Statement from BIRA's Chief Executive

Andrew Goodacre, BIRA's Chief Executive, highlighted the challenges small retailers face in competing with Amazon. "Small retailers have little choice but to use Amazon due to its vast reach, but this case aims to prevent Amazon from driving them out of business," Goodacre stated. He emphasized that the lawsuit marks the beginning of a process to secure compensation for the affected retailers.

Amazon's Response

Amazon has not yet responded to the lawsuit.

Allegations of Buy Box Manipulation

The lawsuit also claims that Amazon manipulated the "Buy Box" feature on its website to its own advantage. The "Buy Box," prominently displayed at the top of product pages, is a key battleground for sellers. This feature is also the focus of a separate lawsuit, valued at up to £900 million ($1.1 billion), brought on behalf of consumers.

Ongoing Investigations

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating Amazon since 2022, scrutinizing how the company selects products for the "Buy Box" and other practices to ensure fair competition. Last year, the CMA accepted commitments from Amazon aimed at protecting fair competition on its platform.

This lawsuit is a significant step for British retailers seeking justice and compensation for alleged unfair practices by one of the world's largest online marketplaces.

Also Read: Amazon Plans Major Upgrade for Alexa Voice Assistant

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