Advertisement

Competition Bureau investigating Amazon.ca for abuse of market dominance

Click to play video 'International lawmakers discuss how to keep tech giants in check' International lawmakers discuss how to keep tech giants in check
ABOVE: International lawmakers discuss how to keep tech giants like Amazon in check.

The Competition Bureau on Friday said it is investigating whether Amazon.ca is abusing dominance in the Canadian market.

In a news release, the Bureau said it is “inviting market participants to provide input to inform its civil investigation into conduct by Amazon.” It added that it’s looking into whether Amazon is impacting competition to the “detriment” of consumers and companies in Canada.

Read more: Amazon fined $1.1 million by Canada’s competition watchdog

The Bureau said its investigation is focusing on whether Amazon.ca, is practising “abuse of dominance” in the Competition Act.

This is when a “dominant firm in a market … engages in conduct that is intended to eliminate or discipline a competitor or to deter future entry by new competitors, with the result that competition is prevented or lessened substantially.”

Story continues below advertisement

The Bureau said it will be investigating:

  • “any past or existing Amazon policies which may impact third-party sellers’ willingness to offer their products for sale at a lower price on other retail channels, such as their own websites or other online marketplaces;
  • the ability of third-party sellers to succeed on Amazon’s marketplace without using its “Fulfilment By Amazon” service or advertising on Amazon.ca;
  • and any efforts or strategies by Amazon that may influence consumers to purchase products it offers for sale over those offered by competing sellers.”
Click to play video 'Top tech titans grilled at historic antitrust hearing' Top tech titans grilled at historic antitrust hearing
Top tech titans grilled at historic antitrust hearing

“We are cooperating with the Competition Bureau’s review and continue to work hard to support small and medium-sized businesses who sell in our Canadian store — and help them grow,” an Amazon spokesperson told Global News.

In a statement Friday, MP Michelle Rempel Garner, the Conservative critic for industry, said that she had introduced a motion to question Amazon on the allegations during a meeting with the Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology.

Story continues below advertisement

“While the NDP was attempting to move that the committee adopt my motion today unanimously, a Liberal member of the Committee blocked him from doing so. I thank my NDP colleague Brian Masse for his public indication of support,” read Garner’s statement.

“This is a non-partisan issue which could be impacting small business owners in Canada. I encourage the Liberals to support this motion, which we expect to pass with the support of the Opposition members on the committee.”