Nearly £1 billion in compensation could be paid to UK shoppers by Amazon
A consumer rights lawyer, David Hunter, is planning a major lawsuit against the digital giant Amazon. He is particular about UK Amazon customers who may be eligible to earn a portion of £900 million in compensation.
According to the proposed lawsuit, the corporation allegedly violated competition laws, which led to increased consumer pricing. He claims that items offered on Amazon.co.uk and the Amazon app concealed better offers. Amazon, the largest e-commerce firm in the world, began as an online bookshop.
The "buy boxed" featured deals account for more than 80% of transactions completed on the website. However, Ms. Hunter claims that independent merchants are not included in the purchase box even when they provide the same goods at a lower price or with better conditions, violating EU and UK competition legislation.
According to research, nine out of ten UK consumers have used Amazon, and two-thirds do it at least once every month. Using "tricks of design to control consumer choice and steer buyers toward the highlighted deal in its purchase box," Ms. Hunter claims, Amazon manipulates consumer behaviour.
According to Ms. Hunter, most consumers, many of whom trust Amazon and mistakenly believe it to be the best value, only evaluate and choose this highlighted offer. Amazon will be sued to recover damages of £900 million before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London.
He added that the tribunal has recently issued several rulings for similar proceedings, certifying the opt-out procedure. "Obviously, Amazon will fight the lawsuit at all levels, including class certification," he said.
According to David Greene of the London Solicitors Litigation Association, determining the chance of victory is challenging. "Big IT businesses have the financial means to compete." Who is eligible?
The claimant class includes all UK residents who have made purchases on Amazon.co.uk or the Amazon mobile app since October 2016. The proposed case is an opt-out collective-action claim, which means that the class action is initiated on behalf of the impacted consumers. They will not incur any charges or fees to participate.
The action is being handled by Hausfeld & Co LLP, and one of the lawyers, Lesley Hannah, stated: "Competition rules are in place to safeguard everyone. They ensure people can make sincere, educated decisions and aren't just coerced into doing so to benefit the businesses they deal with.
"Fairness is at the core of competition law, and Amazon is not treating customers properly."
"Amazon shouldn't be able to create the rules in its favour and treat people unjustly," Ms. Hunter said. I am taking this lawsuit because of that.
An Amazon representative asserted: "We are sure that the judicial process will demonstrate this claim's lack of validity. Amazon has always emphasised assisting the 85,000 companies who sell their goods on our UK shop; in fact, independent selling partners account for more than half of all physical product sales on our UK site. We constantly strive to highlight deals that provide clients inexpensive costs and quick delivery,"
Additional Amazon research
Amazon is the subject of two official antitrust probes by the European Commission. One is assessing the same claimed "self-preferencing" by Amazon stated in the UK lawsuit as of November 2020.
According to the commission's early findings, Amazon's retail operation and marketplace sellers who used its logistics and shipping services were disproportionately favored by the rules and criteria for the purchase box. It is presently assessing Amazon's promises made to ease these worries.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in July 2022 that it looked into Amazon's business practices, particularly how it determined the standards for choosing the featured deal. The CMA said that their probe came after the one conducted by the European Commission.