Amazon might have to pay £900 million to its UK customers, here's what we know

The tech giant has been accused of anti-competitive practices which could incur a big penalty.

Amazon might have to pay £900 million in compensation to its UK customers
© Bloomberg - Getty Images
Amazon might have to pay £900 million in compensation to its UK customers

Amazon shoppers in the UK could be entitled to a huge payout after Amazon has been accused of carrying out anti-competitive practices, which point customers towards its own products. It is alleged that this breached competition laws and caused customers to pay higher prices.

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As a result, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against the company by consumer rights expert Julie Hunter, according to a report on the BBC. Hunter claims independent sellers are excluded from using the ‘buy box’ function on Amazon and this is where 80% of purchases on the site are made - breaching UK and EU competition law.

Who is eligible?

Amazon sued for £900 million in the UK Bloomberg - Getty Images

UK residents who have bought anything on or the mobile app since October 2016 are eligible. The lawsuit is classed as an opt-out collective-action claim, which means any impacted shoppers will not have to pay any costs to participate.

Lesley Hannah, a partner in the legal firm pursuing the case, commented as per the BBC:

Competition laws are there to protect everyone. They ensure that individuals can make genuine and informed choices and are not simply led into making selections which benefit the companies they interact with.
Fairness is at the heart of competition law - and consumers are not being treated fairly by Amazon.

Amazon’s response

Amazon have stated they do not believe there is a case to be answered with a spokesman responding, in a report on WalesOnline:

This claim is without merit and we're confident that will become clear through the legal process.
Amazon has always focused on supporting the 85,000 businesses that sell their products on our UK store - and more than half of all physical product sales on our UK store are from independent selling partners.

The lawsuit comes at a time when Amazon is undergoing two other anti-competition investigations since 2020 by the European Commission. In addition to this, the Competition and Markets Authority said it was investigating Amazon's business practices in July of this year.

Sources used:

- BBC 'Amazon could pay UK shoppers £900m compensation'

- WalesOnline'Amazon customers could be paid £900m compensation following lawsuit'

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