Amazon Faces EU Probe As Vestager Plans Summer Finale

Bloomberg
Amazon.com Inc. is to be investigated by the European Union as the bloc's antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager prepares for a summer finale to her five-year crackdown on U.S. technology giants.

Amazon.com Inc. is to be investigated by the European Union as the bloc's antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager prepares for a summer finale to her five-year crackdown on U.S. technology giants.

The probe comes as Qualcomm Inc. could be hit with a second hefty EU penalty as soon as next week for allegedly underpricing chips to squeeze a smaller competitor. The U.S. chipmaker was fined last year for thwarting rival suppliers to Apple Inc. and has been the subject of on-and-off antitrust scrutiny since 2005.

Amazon and the European Commission in Brussels both declined to comment on the plans to open the probe. Qualcomm representatives declined to immediately comment.

While it will be the first time the EU has directly targeted Amazon's online retail business model, itGs the third time the company has been probed by the regulator, following tax and e-book investigations.

Although Google has been fined once a year for the past three years, racking up 8.2 billion euros ($9.2 billion) in penalties, the Alphabet Inc. unit still faces early-stage inquiries into local business and jobs searches.

Apple also has to contend with a complaint from Spotify Technology SA and Facebook Inc. is getting questions on how it uses and shares data from apps.