• From the Wall Street Journal this morning:
"Amazon.com Inc. agreed to settle two European Union antitrust cases related to allegations about its treatment of third-party sellers on its platform, ending some of the bloc’s most advanced cases targeting a U.S. tech company.
"The online retailer won’t pay a fine as part of the settlement, something it first proposed in July, but it will be forced for up to seven years to adhere to commitments to change certain business practices that EU regulators had alleged were harmful to third-party sellers on its platform.
"As part of the deal, Amazon is committing to give third-party sellers that use Amazon an equal shot at being selected as the default option for the buttons in Amazon’s so-called Buy Box and to qualify for its Prime shipping program. The Buy Box contains the 'Add to basket' and 'Buy now' buttons on the Amazon website. The company will also abstain from using nonpublic data about sellers on its marketplace in order to compete against them."
• The Wall Street Journal reports that the European Union has charged Facebook parent company Meta Platforms "with antitrust violations for allegedly distorting competition by tying its online classified ad service to its social network.
"The European Commission, the bloc’s antitrust enforcer, on Monday issued a charge sheet against Meta that said the U.S. tech company automatically gives Facebook users access to its Marketplace service, potentially pushing aside competitors. The commission said it is also concerned that Meta imposes unfair conditions on competing for online advertising services through its terms and conditions.
"Meta will have an opportunity to argue its case before the commission makes a final decision. If the commission concludes the company breached antitrust rules, Meta could face a fine of up to 10% of its global annual revenue."