Antitrust law

A lurking data question for Amazon

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

There’s debate on both sides of the Atlantic as to whether Amazon's mountain of data gives it an inherent — and unfair — advantage over rivals. But critics may be looking at the wrong thing in the data.

What they're saying: James Thomson, a former Amazon executive who now consults for brands that sell on the platform, says the e-commerce giant's singular advantage is behavioral data allowing it to precisely target customers for its private label products.

European antitrust authorities probe Amazon

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos walks outside in a short-sleeved polo shirt and vest
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.