Antitrust Commissions Around the World Scrutinize Big Tech

Accusations Against Amazon in the EU

Amazon (AMZN) is up against new legal challenges in the EU. The European Commission has accused the US ecommerce giant of collecting data from its third-party sellers and using that information to compete against them with Amazon products. In a separate investigation, the bloc is examining the way Amazon chooses which seller is the default option when a consumer searches for a product. The company has been accused of giving unfair advantages to its products and those of other companies that pay extra for special treatment.

It is expected that the European Commission will reach a decision about whether or not Amazon’s practices violate antitrust laws by next year. If the company is found guilty, it could be forced to alter its business practices. It could also be fined up to $28 billion. Amazon would have the opportunity to challenge the EU court’s decision.

Antitrust Investigations of Google in India

In India, Google (GOOGL) is up against antitrust scrutiny. India’s antitrust watchdog, Competition Commission of India, is investigating whether or not Google illegally promotes its payments service, Google Pay through its app store. Google Pay is one of the most widespread payment services in India, offering credit cards, mobile wallets, internet banking, and more.

The commission is looking at how Google Pay is featured on Google’s app store. It is also examining how the store’s billing system is designed, and whether or not it gives Google Pay unfair advantages. An informant also accused Google of skewing search results in its app stores to promote Google Pay, though the commission is not currently investigating this accusation.

Uber and Postmates Receive DOJ Approval for Merger

Though Amazon, Google, and other tech companies are in hot water abroad, and have faced significant scrutiny at home, it hasn’t been all bad news for Big Tech on the antitrust front. Earlier this week, the US Justice Department signed off on Uber’s (UBER) acquisition of the food delivery startup, Postmates.

After reviewing the $2.65 billion all-stock deal, the DOJ decided that it does not violate antitrust regulations, and that Uber has put a number of measures in place to ensure fair competition. In several markets including Los Angeles and Miami, it has removed provisions requiring restaurants to exclusively use Postmates for delivery. Uber and Postmates will now be able to move forward with their partnership, which will help Uber get through a period of weak demand for its core ride hailing business, but increased demand for food delivery.

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