Amazon fined 10 million euros in Italy for alleged unfair commercial practices

ROME, April 24 (Xinhua) -- The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) announced on Wednesday that it had fined two subordinate companies of Amazon group 10 million euros (10.7 million U.S. dollars) for alleged unfair commercial practices.

The targeted subsidiaries were Luxembourg-based Amazon Services Europe and Amazon EU.

Following investigations, the competition watchdog claimed that Amazon limited consumers' freedom of choice by pre-setting the "recurring purchase" option instead of the "one-time purchase" for a wide selection of products sold by Amazon and third parties on the marketplace. Such practice "significantly restricts consumers' freedom of choice," the ICA said.

"The graphic layout of the pre-selected recurring purchase option may lead consumers to buy products periodically -- even when there is no actual need -- thereby limiting their ability to choose freely," it explained.

The authority added that Amazon was expected to design its online interface in a manner "that allows consumers to make free and informed commercial decisions."

Finally, the ICA stated that, in the first phase of their investigation, they also contested the pre-selection of the paid fast delivery option. In this regard, the ICA explained that it had accepted Amazon's commitment to pre-select only the free delivery option in the future and to compensate those consumers who complained about this conduct in 2023. (1 euro = 1.07 U.S. dollar)

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