European Commission probes Amazon

European flagThe European Commission formally opened an antitrust investigation by Amazon in relation to the distribution of e-books.

The Commission is taking a particular interest in the contracts Amazon makes publishers sign which make them reveal alternative terms or more favourable terms from competitor.

In a statement, the Commission said it was concerned that these kind of clauses made it hard for other e-book distributors to compete with Amazon.

The Commission will look into whether these clauses limit competition and also limit peoples’ choices.

If it finds that the behaviour violates EU antitrust rules, Amazon could end up with sanctions.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU commissioner who looks after competition, said” “It is my duty to make sure that Amazon’s arrangements with publishers are not harmful to consumers by preventing other e-book distributors from innovating and competing effectively with Amazon.”