At the end of 2021, after a long investigation process which took more than two years, the Italian Competition Authority fined Amazon 1.2 billion euros for abusing its dominant position in the sector of ecommerce marketplaces (violation of the article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).
Amazon has a strongly dominant position in the Italian market of online intermediation services, as testified by its ability to earn the 70% of the total revenues generated by the ecommerce sector in the country. According to the principles of markets regulation, dominant positions per se are not forbidden. However, abuses of dominant positions are not allowed and tend to be carefully scrutinized by market regulators.
According to the Competition Authority, Amazon abused its dominant position by unfairly favouring its own delivery service. In other words, the Seattle-based company used the dominance gained in the ecommerce sector as a tool to further expand its activities in the field of logistics services, in line with the predictions and analysis by Khan (2017). As a consequence, its competitors in the logistics sector were penalized.
More precisely, third-party sellers using the delivery service named “Fulfilment by Amazon” were unduly privileged over retailers opting for other delivery providers. The discriminatory practices adopted by Amazon were related to four main issues:
- the possibility to access the Prime service;
- the right to offer special discounts, as in the case of Black Fridays;
- the positioning in search results;
- the exemption from the service of standards assessment provided by Amazon to the sellers using its digital marketplace.
The Italian Competition Authority not only imposed a fine, but also established a set of measures, obligations and conditions aimed at restoring forms of fair competition.
Against this backdrop, the webinar intends to examine whether the combination of specific antitrust national decisions and the introduction of new regulatory tools and remedies suggested by the European Commission with the Digital Markets Act can effectively curb the power exerted by gatekeepers such as Amazon, with the final goal of promoting a digital economy genuinely based on the principles of innovation and competition.
MELTEM BAĞIŞ AKKAYA, Turkish Competition Authority
Mrs. BAGIS AKKAYA is the Head of Department of Strategy Development and Acting Head of Department of External Relations and Competition Advocacy. She has been working for the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) for 22 years. She has a broad experience in handling merger & acquisition, cartel and abuse of dominance cases. She worked as an Economy Editor in the Turkish Daily News before joining the Authority. After graduating from Ankara University Faculty of Political Sciences, she received a master’s degree in European Union Law in University of Essex with distinction. She has been teaching competition and regulation and digital economy in Turin School of Regulation (Italy) Summer School. She is also teaching digital economy in Atilim University, Ankara. She has been giving seminars in various international universities on digital economy in the last 10 years and has an extensive knowledge on competition, regulation and platform economy.
GINEVRA BRUZZONE, Luiss – Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli
Ginevra Bruzzone is an economist specialized in competition policy and EU law. She is Senior Fellow at the School of European Political Economy (SEP), LUISS and teaches ‘Internal Market and EU Competition Policy’ at the Luiss Master in European Economic Governance. Currently she works for the Italian government as advisor for competition and reforms in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. Ginevra is also:
- Member of the Steering Committee of the Italian Association for Transport Policy (Sipotra)
- Member of the Advisory Committee of the 4iP Council
- Member of the Scientific Committee of CDTI (Club Dirigenti Tecnologie dell’Informazione)
- Member of the Editorial Board of Mercato Concorrenza Regole
- Member of the Italian Association of European Lawyers (AIGE)
She has published extensively in the field of law and economics, in national and international publications.
CRISTINA PONCIBÒ, University of Turin
Cristina Poncibò is Professor of Comparative Private Law at the Law Department of the University of Turin (UniTo) and Fellow at the UniTo Centre for Comparative and Transnational Law. She lectures undergraduate and postgraduate courses at UniTo in Sistemi giuridici comparati (Comparative Law), International Contracts and EU Competition Law. She is coordinator of the Master in International Trade Law organised by UniTo and ITC-ILO in partnership with Uncitral and Unidroit. She is interested in Comparative Law, Contracts and Economic Law. She is the author of two monographs and co-editor of three books. She regularly publishes scientific contributions in EU and international peer-reviewed law journals and reviews.
Working language: English
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