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Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The top antitrust regulator in the European Union said Wednesday she is investigating Amazon's relationship with independent merchants it hosts on its platform.

Why it matters: If this were to turn into a formal investigation, it would represent a major headache for Amazon, as it faces allegations that it has unfair dominance over the market.

What they're saying: EU competition Commissioner Margarethe Vestager pointed to the possibility that Amazon could use data on independent merchants who use its platform to refine its own offerings as a seller itself. She said that "the question here is about the data."

  • Vestager said it was "very early days" and that the authorities have not "formally opened the case."
  • Amazon declined to comment on the record.

The big picture: Debates over Amazon's dominance have fueled a resurgent antitrust movement in the United States, but European regulators have actually taken action against the tech giants.

Go deeper

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Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

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FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios