Italy’s competition authority said on the 15th of April it had opened an investigation into Amazon for possible abuse of its dominant position in online commerce and logistics.

The authority said it suspected that the retail giant had been giving preferential exposure to third-party vendors on its platform only if they subscribed to Amazon’s logistics service.

“These practices would have allowed Amazon to profit unfairly from its dominant position” in online commerce platforms “in order to significantly curtail competition” on storage and dispatch markets, said the Italian competition authority, Antitrust. These practices would have in the end harmed consumers, it added.

The investigation is likely to last a year, said Antitrust. The authority’s agents inspected various Amazon sites on Tuesday, accompanied by members of the financial crime unit.

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