French watchdog orders Amazon to pay $3.5 million in penalties

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen on the company's logistics centre in Boves, near Amiens, France, April 8, 2022. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - A French watchdog has ordered U.S. e-commerce giant to pay 3.3 million euros ($3.5 million) in penalties for failing to modify contractual provisions related to third-party sellers by the deadline it set, the watchdog said on Wednesday.

France's DGCCRF consumer fraud watchdog said in a statement Amazon had been ordered to make the changes, aimed at correcting imbalances in contractual terms between Amazon's online marketplace and third-party sellers, by March 22.

Amazon had complied with DGCCRF's orders a month later, on April 28, the watchdog said, which led to penalties equivalent to 90,000 euros per day of delay.

The DGCCRF's orders followed an investigation by the agency, placed under the authority of France's finance ministry, and led to the conclusion that Amazon didn't abide by the so called "platform-to-business" rules adopted by the European Union in 2019.

Amazon said it would appeal against DGCCRF's penalties.

"The DGCCRF has acknowledged that the changes we implemented in April are consistent with its injunction," Amazon said in a written statement.

"However, we continue to disagree with the DGCCRF on its findings, decisions and related penalty, and are challenging each of them in court."

($1 = 0.9527 euros)

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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