French court fines Amazon for imposing abusive conditions on vendors

The Paris Commercial Court hit Amazon with a four million euro fine over abusive contractual clauses imposed on retailers. According to some of these clauses, Amazon is able to unilaterally change the terms of its contracts, require shorter delivery times and force vendors to immediately advance the cost of undelivered or damaged products. If vendors refuse, they can be excluded from the platform. The case was brought to court by the French Finance Ministry General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control in December 2017 following a two-year investigation. The inquiry concluded that some clauses in Amazon’s contracts proved to be potentially unfair to the 10,000 small and medium French companies that used the platform. The court also ordered Amazon to change contractual clauses within six months, or it will incur an additional fine of 10,000 euros per day.