CMA secures undertakings from Amazon and Meta

November 6, 2023

Amazon Marketplace

Amazon has provided commitments to the CMA which aim to ensure that third-party Marketplace sellers can compete on a level-playing field and that UK customers get access to the best deals.

Most sales on Amazon take place through the “Buy Box”. By giving independent sellers that use the Marketplace a fair chance of their offers being featured in the Buy Box, the commitments will help ensure that customers do not miss out on attractive product offers.

In addition, Amazon will be prevented from using Marketplace data it obtains from third-party sellers to give itself an unfair competitive advantage and will allow sellers to negotiate their own delivery rates directly with independent providers of Prime delivery services. Compliance with these commitments will be monitored by an independent trustee that will be approved by the CMA.

The CMA launched an investigation in July 2022 into concerns that Amazon was abusing its position as the UK’s leading online retail platform. This included concerns that Amazon was giving an unfair advantage to its own retail business over competing sellers that use Amazon marketplace, and to sellers that use Amazon’s own warehousing and delivery services rather than rival logistics businesses. In July 2023, the CMA launched a consultation on the commitments offered by Amazon during its investigation.

Facebook Marketplace

Meta has also signed commitments which include the following:

  • Opt-out option for Marketplace: Meta’s advertising customers can opt out of their relevant ad data being used by Meta to operate or improve Facebook Marketplace. This included data that illustrates how users engage with their ads and can indicate to Meta which products or services a user is interested in. This commitment will be achieved via the implementation of a technical system for Facebook Marketplace to prevent Meta’s use of such data.
  • Further limitations on Meta’s use of ad data in product development: Beyond Marketplace, Meta will limit its use of ad data derived from digital display advertising and business tool services, which identifies advertisers. It will issue a statement in its published Code of Conduct that states such data should not be used to develop Meta products that compete with those advertisers. The Code sets out the standards to which Meta holds itself and its expectations for how Meta’s employees should act. Meta also commits to taking the necessary steps to ensure its employees working on product development do not use such information to develop and improve Meta’s products in the UK in competition with advertisers.

To ensure that Meta acts in line with its commitments, a monitoring trustee will be appointed and will provide the CMA with reports on compliance and any failures. The trustee will also oversee the implementation of new technical systems and employee training.