Britain's competition watchdog to investigate Amazon, report says

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Britain's competition watchdog to investigate Amazon, report says

The Competition Watchdog of Britain is planning a formal competition investigation into the e-commerce company Amazon.com Inc., reports the Financial Times on Thursday, citing three unidentified people familiar with the situation.

The Competition and Markets Authority was analysing Amazon's business for months, said the newspaper, adding that the regulator was focusing on how the online retailer uses the information it has collected on its platform.

The regulator also scrutinised how Amazon decides what merchants appear in the crucial buy box', the right panel on the white side of a product where buyers click to add the item to their cart, the report added.

Amazon did not respond immediately to a request for comment on Thursday.

A probe into Amazon may focus on whether Amazon wants merchants that also use its logistics and delivery services when deciding who has access to the Buy box and Prime customers, the newspaper said, citing sources. It said that timing and scope of the inquiry were still being worked on, it was said.

According to the report, it was likely that the investigative exercise would cover similar ground to the work of European Union probes.

Brussels has two open inquiries into Amazon - one that aims to increase the company's uses of data to advance its own products to rivals' potential detriment, and another that is looking at the criteria for the use of the buy box.

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