The UK’s competition watchdog has announced that it has secured commitments from Meta and Amazon, aimed at preserving fair competition on their retail platforms.
These commitments from the U.S. tech behemoths signify the conclusion of the Competition & Markets Authority’s (CMA) inquiry into Amazon Marketplace and Meta’s utilization of advertising data.
Amazon has pledged not to utilize data from rival sellers on its marketplace to gain an unfair edge. This commitment ensures that third-party marketplace vendors can engage in fair competition on an equitable playing field, as stated by the CMA. Additionally, Amazon’s commitments will grant independent sellers using the marketplace a more equitable opportunity for their offerings to be featured in the “Buy Box.”
“Most sales on Amazon – everything from saucepans to cosmetics – take place through the ‘Buy Box’. By giving independent sellers that use the Marketplace a fair chance of their offers being featured in the ‘Buy Box’, the commitments will help ensure that customers do not miss out on attractive product offers,” the CMA said.
On the other hand, Meta has entered into commitments to prevent the exploitation of its advertising customers’ data. This initiative allows competitors advertising on Meta’s platforms to have the option to withhold their data from being used to enhance Facebook Marketplace. Meta expressed its approval of the regulatory decision, welcoming the development.
“We welcome the constructive resolution of our concerns in a way that benefits people and businesses and expect to see more of this kind of resolution once the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill comes into force,” said Sarah Cardell, Chief Executive of the CMA.
Back in July, the CMA had initially noted that Amazon’s proposal to alter its treatment of third-party sellers on its Marketplace platform had satisfactorily addressed competition concerns.
“We have accepted Amazon’s commitments as they help thousands of independent UK sellers to compete on a level playing field against Amazon’s own retail arm. This should also mean customers get access to the best product offers,” said Ann Pope, Senior Director for Antitrust Enforcement at the CMA.
“The commitments secured from Meta mean the firm cannot exploit advertising customers’ data to give itself an unfair advantage – and as such distort competition.”