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Retailers file £1 billion damages claim against Amazon over data misuse

Katie Ross
07 June 2024

Amazon is facing its biggest-ever collective action lawsuit. The £1 billion damages claim was filed on behalf of retailers selling on its UK site.

The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) is filing the claim on behalf of the involved retailers at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in London.

The claim stated that since October 2015, the e-commerce giant used non-public data that belonged specifically to retailers on its UK marketplace.

According to the claim, the information helped the retailer determine whether to enter a new product segment based on its sales and potential earnings, which elements of the item to copy and which shoppers to target.

BIRA said the businesses did not know that Amazon was illegally using the information for its own benefit.

Amazon is no stranger to lawsuits. It is also facing a legal challenge from the GMB Union over a claim that it attempts to coerce its staff members to cancel their trade union memberships.

Amazon has continually challenged claims of data misuse, and that it uses Buy Box (the white box on the right side of an Amazon product page where products are added to a cart) to preference its own retail operations.

The marketplace’s annual gross profit for 2023 was $270.046bn (£211.46bn), a 19.94% increase from 2022.

BIRA's CEO, Andrew Goodacre, said: “The British public has a strong relationship with its local, independent retailers and ensuring they are not put out of business by Amazon’s illegal actions is a key driving force behind this collective action.

“The filing of the claim today is the first step towards retailers obtaining compensation for what Amazon has done.”

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