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Amazon has agreed to make a raft of changes to the business terms it offers sellers on its marketplaces following an intervention by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (FCO).
The regulator instigated an investigation in November last year after receiving a large number of complaints from sellers pertaining to Amazon’s German marketplace, amazon.de: The largest of the company’s five European marketplaces.
Changes - Ecommerce - Giant - Amendments - Liability
Among the changes the ecommerce giant has agreed to make are amendments to its liability provisions towards sellers to bring it into line with European standards for b2b relations, and changes to account termination and blocking to remove its unlimited right to do so without justification — meaning ordinary account terminations will in future require 30 days notice.
In a statement, Amazon said:
Changes - Amazon - Services - Business - Solutions
We are making several changes to the Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement to clarify selling partner rights and responsibilities. The changes will become effective August 16th. 58% of the physical gross merchandise sales on Amazon are from third-party sellers, and we’ll continue working hard, investing heavily, and inventing new tools and services to help our selling partners around the world reach new customers and grow their business.
The company has also agreed to remove exclusivity of court of jurisdiction, meaning European sellers with a dispute against it may not only be able to instigate legal proceedings in Luxembourg but could, under certain conditions, be able to take it to a domestic court in future.
Changes - Reductions - Confidentiality - Requirements - Amazon
Other changes include reductions to confidentiality requirements Amazon has used to bind what sellers can say about it in public; product information rights and quality requirements; and over product reviews and seller ratings.
The new business terms, which will come into effect in 30 days times, will apply not just to all Amazon’s European marketplaces but also to its marketplaces worldwide, including in North American and Asia.
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