Placement in the Buy Box is a key revenue driver for businesses selling on Amazon, but when Amazon sees a product for sale on another site at a lower price, those two buttons are removed and replaced with less enticing language and designs. which can severely limit sales.
“A price is considered uncompetitive even if it’s just a penny more than reputable non-Amazon retailers,” Varun Soni, who leads Amazon’s seller pricing team, told a conference in October.
Amazon, which since last year has been led by Andy Jassy, who replaced Jeff Bezos as chief executive, has previously argued that its buy-box policies have helped consumers by keeping prices low and delivery times short. But its design was a source of antitrust scrutiny.
In September, California’s Attorney General sued Amazon, arguing that sellers often increase their prices on other sites to match Amazon’s prices and maintain their Buy Box placement to the detriment of consumers.
The California complaint argued that it costs third-party sellers more to sell items on Amazon, so they can’t afford to lower prices on the site. Merchants would rather charge more on other sites to get the Buy Box back than risk stopping sales on Amazon, by far the largest online retailer, the lawsuit says.
In the EU deal, Amazon also agreed not to use non-public data about retailers it competes with. Independent retailers who rely on Amazon to reach customers have long complained that the company uses information about terms of sale, revenue, and inventory levels to make decisions about what products to make, sell, and promote, such as what to buy, what to sell, and what to advertise . B. its Amazon Basics line of products.
In another victory for independent retailers, sellers could also join Amazon’s Prime program, its popular membership service, without using the company’s logistics business. This change gives sellers the ability to partner with other vendors to handle inventory and shipments.