- Complaint filed by The Strategic Organizing Center
- Amazon doesn’t give a clear enough indication of which search results are paid advertising
- Amazon spokesperson calls SOC report wrong
The problems of Jeff Bezos’s company Amazon are increasing continuously. Earlier in Europe, the company was fined 687 million euros for violating the laws. Now on the one hand Italy’s Antitrust Authority has fined $1.28 billion (1.13 billion euros), while on the other hand Amazon has been accused of misleading customers in its own country i.e. America.
According to a report by CNN Business, a complaint made to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US states that Amazon is potentially misleading people. It doesn’t give a clear enough indication of which search results are paid advertising and which are not.
The complaint was filed by The Strategic Organizing Center (SOC), a coalition of American labor unions. The complaint states that more than a quarter of Amazon’s search results are sponsored by third parties. Also these are not labeled well enough to be clear to the average user. Researchers at SOC analyzed more than 130,000 search results. The complaint alleges that Amazon is violating all FTC guidelines for identifying online ads in search results.
what amazon has to say
However, an Amazon spokesperson has rubbished the SOC report as false. The spokesperson says that ads in Amazon stores always have a clear and prominent sponsored label, which is implemented in line with FTC guidelines. The FTC directs digital advertisers to have clear and distinct labeling of paid ads.
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Why fines were imposed in Europe and Italy
Two weeks ago, Amazon was fined 687 million euros for violating European laws. This fine was imposed by the Antitrust Authority. The fine has been imposed because of anti-competitive cooperation in the sale of Apple and Beats products. Under the agreement between the companies, only selected resellers could sell Apple and Beats products on Amazon’s Italian site Amazon.it. Competition watchdog said it was a violation of European Union rules. The authority imposed a fine of 134.5 million euros on Amazon as well as Apple.
After this big action was taken on Amazon in Italy. The Antitrust Authority (Italy’s antitrust authority) fined Amazon $1.3 billion. The action has been taken accusing Amazon of abusing its market dominance in Europe. The competition watchdog said in a statement that Amazon used its dominance in the Italian market to favor its own logistics services. This hurt the company’s competitors in the e-commerce space.
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