Big Tech Compliance Tracker: Germany Looks Into Amazon Over Possible ‘Anti-Competitive Practices’; Europe Plans To Introduce New Business Tax

Big Tech Compliance Tracker: Germany Looks Into Amazon Over Possible ‘Anti-Competitive Practices’; Europe Plans To Introduce New Business Tax Structure

May 24, 2021 at 08:39PM

Here’s the latest news from the technology industry, which is coming under increasing global scrutiny. 

Germany Looks Into Amazon Over Possible ‘Anti-Competitive Practices’ Amid Stricter Law

The Federal Cartel Office, Germany’s competition authority, has started a probe into Amazon regarding possible “anti-competitive practices,” harnessing a new regulation equipping watchdogs with greater power, AFP reported. A representative for Amazon said the firm “cannot comment on ongoing proceedings and will fully cooperate with the FCO.”

Andreas Mundt, the Federal Cartel Office head, said his office is looking into whether the eCommerce firm has “an almost unchallengeable position of economic power” and if the company “operates across various markets.” If that is the case, it could be considered to be of “paramount significance,” according to Mundt, who pointed out that the watchdog could “take early action against and prohibit possible anti-competitive practices by Amazon.”

European Commission Plans To Introduce New Business Tax Structure By 2023

The European Commission (EC) announced it has adopted a “Communication on Business Taxation for the 21st century,” which details a vision for the short and long haul to help with the continent’s recovery from the coronavirus and to make sure there are sufficient public revenues in future years, according to a press release. The European Commission said it will present a new structure for business taxation in the bloc by 2023.

The “Business in Europe: Framework for Income Taxation” (BEFIT) will equip the European Union with one corporate tax rulebook. The framework will reduce chances for tax avoidance and decrease compliance costs, among other impacts, according to the release.

The EC said the communication describes a tax plan for the two years to come. In addition, the commission said it had adopted a recommendation on the domestic treatment of losses, which will let companies that were profitable in the pre-pandemic years offset their 2021 and 2020 losses against the taxes they paid prior to 2020.

Proposed Czech Digital Tax Will Impact US Firm’s Willingness To Invest In Nation

An official at the U.S. Embassy in Prague said that the Czech government’s online tax proposal singles out U.S. firms and will impact how amenable they may be to invest in the country, Czech Radio reported. In the event the tax regulation is ratified, Jennifer Lynn Bachus told the news outlet, the U.S. will look into the issue more and potentially put countermeasures into place. The tax is designed to impact firms operating in different countries that have a global revenue in excess of 750 million euros (approximately $915 million) and whose annual service revenue in the nation exceeds 100 million Czech koruna (approximately $5 million).

FTC Reportedly Tells Amazon To Clamp Down On Fake Reviews

Amazon banned sellers of Chinese electronics brands earlier in May after a database leak that apparently linked some of the firms to bogus reviews, which the company says it prohibits. But a published report says internal communications indicate that a minimum of one of the bans was brought about not just by Amazon alone, but by pressure from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as well. 

Amazon Transitions Prime Now Ordering To Main App

Amazon customers domestically who are harnessing the firm’s Prime Now delivery offering will do so by the way of the main Amazon app by the conclusion of 2021. “Prime Now has become a customer favorite,” Amazon Vice President of Grocery Stephenie Landry wrote in a blog post. “To make this experience even more seamless for customers, we are moving the experience from a separate Prime Now app onto the Amazon app and website so customers can shop all Amazon has to offer from one convenient location.”