Amazon online retailer: investigation into anti-competitive practices

Office of Fair Trading (OFT) closed Competition Act 1998 case.

Case reference: CE/9692/12

Summary of work

In October 2012, the OFT launched an investigation into suspected anti-competitive arrangements by Amazon relating to online retail. This investigation was conducted under Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Amazon has informed the OFT and third party sellers trading on Amazon Marketplace of the decision to end its Marketplace price parity policy on Amazon.co.uk and more widely in the European Union. In light of this decision to remove the price parity policy and subsequent steps to implement that decision, and in accordance with its prioritisation principles, the OFT has decided to close its investigation on administrative priority grounds.

No assumption should be made that there has been an infringement of competition law.

Case timeline

First published: 16 October 2012

Milestone Date
Investigation opened October 2012 (actual)
Initial investigation: information gathering, including issuance of formal or informal information requests and parties’ responses October 2012 - February 2013 (actual)
OFT analysis and review of parties’ responses to information requests March 2013 - August 2013 (actual)
Issue of further information requests  March 2013 - August 2013 (actual)
Internal governance processes to decide investigation outcome in light of Amazon's decision to end its price parity policy in the European Union March 2013 - August 2013 (actual)
Minded to close investigation on administrative priority grounds August 2013 (actual)
Investigation closed on administrative priority grounds November 2013 (actual)

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