Amazon Japan raided on suspicion of antitrust practices: Nikkei

Mon Aug 8, 2016 5:21am EDT
 
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By Thomas Wilson

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Fair Trade Commission has raided the offices of Amazon.com Inc's (AMZN.O: Quote) local unit on suspicion of pressuring retailers to offer products at lower prices than on rival sites, the Nikkei business daily said on Monday.

The paper, which cited unidentified sources with knowledge of the case, did not say when the raid took place.

A Japan Fair Trade Commission spokesman said he could not confirm the report but added: "I won't say the contents are incorrect."

An Amazon Japan spokeswoman declined to comment.

Amazon Japan's website booked net sales of $8.3 billion last year, equivalent to 7.7 percent of Amazon.com's worldwide net sales. By comparison, main rival Rakuten Inc 4755.T recorded e-commerce revenue in Japan of 263.9 billion yen ($2.9 billion) in the same period.

Amazon's practices toward retailers and e-commerce partners have also come under scrutiny in Europe.

Germany's Federal Cartel Office began an investigation in November into Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote) and Amazon after complaints that publishers were being forced to accept "unreasonable conditions" for the marketing of audiobooks.

And the European Union last year opened an antitrust investigation into Amazon's e-book business, examining whether clauses in contracts prevented publishers from offering more favorable deals to Amazon's competitors.   Continued...

 
Amazon boxes are seen stacked for delivery in the Manhattan borough of New York City, January 29, 2016.    REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo