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UK Retailers Slam Amazon With A$1.92 Billion Damages Claim Over Data Misuse

Amazon has been hit with a whopping A$1.92 billion (GBP1 billion) damages claim in the UK in what is being termed as the biggest-ever class action against the ecommerce giant.

Law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher filed the claim on Thursday that was brought by the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) on behalf of retailers at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in London.

The case is on behalf of retailers selling on Amazon’s UK marketplace, which is said to number approximately 35,000.

It alleges that Amazon illegally misused the retailers’ data and manipulated the ‘Amazon Buy Box’ to benefit its commercial operation and overall revenues and profit.

It added that Amazon used data that belonged to UK retailers on its marketplace which was non-public and belonged solely and specifically to the retailers between October 2015 and present.

The information is alleged to have helped the retailer determine whether to enter a new product segment based on its sales potential and earnings, which elements of the item to copy, how to price a product, and which shoppers to target.

BIRA claimed the businesses were unaware that Amazon was illegally using their data for its own benefit, reported Retail Gazette.

BIRA CEO Andrew Goodacre said, “The British public has a strong relationship with its local, independent retailers and ensuring they are not put out of business by Amazon’s illegal actions is a key driving force behind this collective action. The filing of the claim is the first step towards retailers obtaining compensation for what Amazon has done.”

Previously, the UK’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) launched an investigation in 2022 to investigate claims that Amazon was abusing its position as the country’s leading online retail platform.

Last year, the competition watchdog reportedly secured new commitments from Amazon and Meta around competitive practices on their retail marketplaces to protect consumers.

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