More

    Independent retailers body urges caution despite Amazon, Facebook commitments to fair competition

    (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) has responded cautiously to the recent commitments made by tech giants Amazon and meta to ensure fair competition on their online market places.

    BIRA, which works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, made the comments following the investigation launched by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in July 2022 and the response released this month.

    Amid growing concerns that Amazon was leveraging its dominant position to gain an unfair advantage over third-party sellers, the CMA initiated an investigation into potential anticompetitive practices, including favoring its retail business over competing sellers on the Amazon Marketplace. Additionally, the watchdog flagged the unequal treatment of sellers utilising Amazon’s warehousing and delivery services versus those employing alternative logistics businesses.

    As a result of the CMA probe, Amazon has committed to providing independent sellers with an equal opportunity to feature their products in the coveted “Buy Box”, the primary sales platform on the Amazon Marketplace. Amazon will also no longer be permitted to exploit Marketplace data acquired from third-party sellers, a practice that had previously contributed to its unfair competitive advantage.

    Furthermore, the tech giant will enable sellers to directly negotiate their delivery rates with independent providers of Prime delivery services, fostering a more level playing field for all involved parties.

    Concurrently, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has also pledged to adhere to new commitments that prevent the misuse of its advertising customers’ data, fostering a more equitable environment for businesses utilizing the platform for advertising purposes.

    Despite these encouraging developments, Andrew Goodacre, CEO of Bira, said he remains cautious about the tangible benefits these changes will provide for independent retailers.

    “We remain unconvinced that this will significantly help the indie retailers who trade on these platforms. These companies still have a huge amount of control over how things are sold and how much it costs the retailers. These changes do not address the negative impact these work practices were having on the small businesses using the platforms,” he said.

    Latest

    Tooting shop fined heavily for selling vapes, alcohol to children

    A south London shop which sold booze and vapes...

    Generational smoking ban can lead to black market war, warns Australian expert

    Prime minister Rishi Sunak has been warned by experts...

    Illegal cigarettes, vapes worth £12,500 seized in Darlington

    Thousands of illegal cigarettes and vapes have been seized...

    Don't miss

    Tooting shop fined heavily for selling vapes, alcohol to children

    A south London shop which sold booze and vapes...

    Generational smoking ban can lead to black market war, warns Australian expert

    Prime minister Rishi Sunak has been warned by experts...

    Illegal cigarettes, vapes worth £12,500 seized in Darlington

    Thousands of illegal cigarettes and vapes have been seized...

    McCain Foods acquires plant-based frozen food brand

    McCain Foods has acquired Strong Roots, a plant-based frozen...

    Tooting shop fined heavily for selling vapes, alcohol to children

    A south London shop which sold booze and vapes to children twice has been fined nearly £7,000. Lavender Hill Magistrates Court imposed the fine on...

    Generational smoking ban can lead to black market war, warns Australian expert

    Prime minister Rishi Sunak has been warned by experts against bringing phased generational smoking ban, citing scary examples of Australia where corner shops are...

    Illegal cigarettes, vapes worth £12,500 seized in Darlington

    Thousands of illegal cigarettes and vapes have been seized from four Darlington stores and a vehicle. Around 140 illegal vapes and 12,000 cigarettes were seized...