Reuters. File photo. Amazon’s logistics center in Lauwin-Planque

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s antitrust agency has launched a new investigation into Amazon’s (Nasdaq:) relationship with third-party traders who sell on its website, the head of the agency was quoted as saying on Sunday.

“We are currently investigating whether and how Amazon influences traders’ price setting on the market,” Andreas Monte, chairman of the Federal Cartel Office, told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Germany is Amazon’s second largest market after the United States.

In the months before the coronavirus pandemic, when many stores closed and shoppers flocked online, Mundt said there had been complaints that Amazon had blocked some merchants over allegedly high prices.

He said: “Amazon must not be a price controller.” He added that Amazon had responded to his office’s requests for information and that those statements were now being evaluated.

Amazon could not immediately be reached for comment.

Until 2013, Amazon had prevented traders from offering products at lower prices than their market through other online sites, a policy that Germany’s antitrust watchdog forced it to abandon.

Last year, Amazon reached an agreement with German authorities to overhaul its terms of service for third-party merchants, prompting the office to drop its previous seven-month investigation.

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2020-08-16