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Global Labor Union Urges EU to Widen Antitrust Probe Against Amazon

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IANS
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After the US, fresh voices are now being raised in the European Union (EU) to widen its probe into the anti-competition practices of Amazon after it was accused of allegedly copying popular products and manipulating search results to boost its own brands in India.

A Reuters report said on Friday that UNI Global Union has shot off a letter to the European Commission, demanding to widen their antitrust investigation of Amazon.

“As further revelations of the scale of Amazon’s operations to undermine that level playing field surface, further action is needed to ensure it is held accountable at every turn,” according to the letter seen by Reuters.

UNI Global Union, formerly Union Network International, is a global union federation for the skills and services sectors, gathering national and regional trade unions.

It has affiliated unions in 150 countries representing 20 million workers. The head office is in Nyon, Switzerland.

The European authorities are already investigating the e-commerce behemoth.

Amazon was fined $886.6 million (the largest penalty under the 2018 GDPR) by the European Union in July this year and 35 million euros by France in 2020.

Amazon said the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) fine had no merit and “it plans to challenge the ruling”.

Meanwhile, five members of a US congressional committee have told Amazon that it led them on the wrong road during a probe of business practices.

Following up on a Reuters report from New Delhi, the lawmakers shot off a blunt six-page letter as well as a press statement.

In a letter addressed to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, the lawmakers asked Amazon to provide “exculpatory evidence” to corroborate the sworn testimony that several leaders, including then CEO Jeff Bezos, provided to the antitrust subcommittee in 2019 and 2020.

Amazon has been accused of using data from third-party sellers to determine products it would create in India.

The Reuters report reviewed “thousands of internal Amazon documents, that the US company’s India operations ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own private brands in the country, one of the company’s largest growth markets”.

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