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Amazon Is Facing Legal Challenges in Europe

In the U.S., the spotlight is on Amazon, and for good reason. The company’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market, it’s potential foray into the pharmaceuticals business and its omnipresent share of e-commerce sales during the holiday season are generating positive headlines. When you add the company’s nationwide search for its second headquarters, the media coverage only gets more intense.

But in Europe, it’s a bit different.

To start, we’ll skip across the pond to Great Britain. Amazon’s promise of next-day deliveries in the UK could be investigated amid customer complaints that it is failing to meet that pledge. The UK Advertising Standards Authority is considering a formal inquiry into Amazon’s Prime service, reported BBC (Dec. 18).

Next, when we jump across the English Channel, we see some developing news in France. The French economy minister filed a lawsuit against Amazon for allegedly imposing unfair commercial relationships to suppliers in the country, and is seeking a fine of $11.8 million. Investigators claim Amazon imposed a series of abusive clauses to its commercial partners in France, including the possibility to change or terminate contracts unilaterally, reported CBS News (Dec. 18).

Meanwhile, a bit further east in Europe: Amazon will pay $118 million to end a tax dispute in Italy. Loopholes allowed Amazon to pay less in taxes between 2011 and 2015, according to Italian investigators. Amazon confirmed the agreement without disclosing the amount it would pay, reported Yakima Herald-Republic (Dec. 15).

Although Amazon ended its legal worries in Italy with the settlement, the company still needs to resolve the issues it is facing in France and the UK. As always, stick with the Food Institute for the most recent developments.