UK Retailers File £1B Damages Claim Against Amazon For Misuse Of Proprietary Data

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


Amazon is facing a £1 billion collective action filed by the British Independent Retailers Association this week at the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London on behalf of retailers who say the company's UK marketplace illegally misuses their data and manipulates the Buy Box to benefit its own commercial operational and profit interests.

BIRA alleges from October 2015 to date, Amazon used non- public data belonging solely to the 3rd party retailers, in combination with manipulating the Buy Box, to engage in a product entry strategy that resulted in sales revenue and profits being diverted from these retailers to Amazon.

Such commercially valuable and confidential information helps Amazon decide whether to enter a new product segment based on its earnings and sales potential, which elements of the product to copy, how to price an item, and which consumers to target. That information in combination with the Buy Box, meant Amazon knew it could successfully enter and take away profits from UK retailers.

The action goes on to say that misusing this proprietary data to bring competing products that are sold cheaper to market effectively pushes many independent retailers out, inflating profits and causing harm to the UK retail sector that is struggling at a time of difficult economic circumstances.

It is the largest collective claim to be filed under the Competition Act 1998 on behalf of UK retailers, enabled by amendments made in 2015 to allow a collective damages claim to be brought on behalf of a class of people who have suffered loss.

Similar complaints were raised in Europe in 2022, resulting in Amazon agreeing to make changes to its Buy Box and Prime programs in the region to settle regulator's antitrust concerns.

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And in the US, the Federal Trade commission has filed an antitrust suit alleging Amazon's uses illegal monopoly power to inflate prices, degrade quality, and stifle competition.

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With this new action by BIRA, all UK retailers who have lost out and are now domiciled in the UK will automatically become part of the claimant class unless they explicitly opt-out.

This means that, once the claim is filed, no action will be required by individual retailers as they will automatically be eligible to receive compensation at the conclusion of the claim. Those not currently domiciled in the UK, but who sold on the UK marketplace, will have the opportunity to opt-in and get the benefits of the proposed claim.

More information can be found at:


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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!

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