Protest sign from Washington: Amazon's market power is disputed
Photo: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS
After Google and the Facebook group Meta, the Federal Cartel Office also wants to enforce stricter competition controls for Amazon.
The authority classified the online giant on Wednesday as a company with "outstanding cross-market importance for competition".
Unlike Google and Meta, Amazon does not accept the decision.
"We do not agree with the findings of the Federal Cartel Office and will carefully examine the decision and our options, including legal remedies," it said in a first reaction.
Since 2021, the Cartel Office has been able to prohibit companies with cross-market influence from practices that it believes endanger competition.
Google's parent Alphabet was identified as one such company in January, with Meta following in May.
Apple is still under investigation for its anti-tracking initiative, which restricts other companies' advertising revenue.
Central platform or simple retailer?
"Amazon is the central key player in the field of e-commerce," said the President of the Cartel Office, Andreas Mundt.
He emphasized that his authority considers Amazon to be dominant in its marketplace services for third-party dealers.
The classic abuse control also applies here.
Amazon can control other companies' access to sales and procurement markets, playing out its dual role as a retailer and marketplace.
The Cartel Office refers in particular to the Prime subscription service, which, in addition to free delivery, also includes access to music and video services.
More than 17 million users registered with Amazon.de have a Prime subscription, the authority wrote.
Amazon responded that it was "primarily a retailer."
The German Retail Association estimated the total share of e-commerce in German retail sales to be only 14.7 percent for 2021.
Amazon competes with many established German and international companies.
This also applies to the company's business in other sectors.