Technology Amazon and Meta Settle with the UK CMA


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Apr 24, 2016
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has settled with Amazon and Meta, closing investigations into anticompetitive business practices in their respective online marketplaces.

“The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has secured commitments from two of the largest digital players, Amazon and Meta, in two separate cases, benefitting sellers and customers by ensuring fair competition on their retail platforms,” the CMA announced. “These commitments will help protect fair competition on each of their retail platforms – Amazon Marketplace and Facebook Marketplace.”

According to the regulatory body, Amazon agreed to let third-party Marketplace sellers “compete on a level-playing field,” ensuring that “UK customers get access to the best deals.” It will do so by giving independent sellers access to the “Buy box” through which most purchases go on, by no longer using the Marketplace data it obtains from third-party sellers to give itself an unfair competitive advantage, and by allowing sellers to negotiate their own delivery rates directly with independent Prime delivery service providers. Amazon has also agreed to outside monitoring to ensure that it complies with its commitments.

Meta, meanwhile, has agreed to stop exploiting advertiser data to improve Facebook Marketplace, a practice that gave it an unfair advantage over competitors who advertised: Going forward, competitors can opt out of Facebook using their data. Meta has committed to this change for a 5-year period once the required changes are implemented.

The CMA notes that both agreements are voluntary. Because both investigations concluded without an official finding, neither represents a determination of whether UK competition law had been infringed.

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