Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/21/german_antitrust_regulator_amazon/

Germany: We're willing to use 'instruments of TORTURE' on Amazon

Competition watchdog: Etailer will be forced to 'eliminate impediments to competition'

By Brid-Aine Parnell

Posted in Government, 21st October 2013 15:18 GMT

Germany's antitrust regulator has accused Amazon of thrusting anticompetitive policies upon sellers using its Marketplace.

The Bundeskartellamt has been investigating Amazon since February for potentially impeding competition by not allowing sellers to offer their goods at cheaper prices elsewhere, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper (translated by Google) reported the president of the watchdog, Andreas Mundt, as saying.

"The conditions under which Amazon runs its Marketplace have anticompetitive effects and they're also putting up barriers to entry," Mundt said.

"We are in talks with Amazon to eliminate these impediments to competition and are willing to issue a crystal clear decree if necessary," he added.

Germany is Amazon's second largest market after the US and a fight with competition authorities there is likely to have knock-on effects for the company's operations in Europe.

"It's not always easy as a national authority to enforce rules on global companies," Mundt said. "Fortunately, we have instruments of torture, which we will use if necessary." ®