Amazon Faces £1.1 Billion Damages Claim Over Alleged Misuse of Seller Data

Amazon Faces £1.1 Billion Damages Claim Over Alleged Misuse of Seller Data

Adriana Rossi
2 min read

Amazon Faces £1.1 Billion Damages Claim Over Alleged Misuse of Seller Data

Amazon is confronted with a £1.1 billion ($1.3 billion) damages claim from the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) for allegedly misusing Marketplace sellers' data and manipulating the "Buy Box" feature. The claim alleges that Amazon used proprietary data to gain a competitive edge and unfairly determined which retailers are featured in the Buy Box, crucial for sales on the platform. This collective action, the largest of its kind in the UK, will be filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London, covering the period from October 2015 to the present. The case highlights the challenges independent retailers face in the online market, where Amazon's dominance is hard to ignore despite its 30% commission on sales. BIRA's CEO, Andrew Goodacre, emphasizes the shift in consumer behavior that compels small businesses to use Amazon, despite the risks of data misuse. This legal battle follows Amazon's recent settlement with the UK's competition watchdog over similar issues, indicating ongoing scrutiny of its practices.

Key Takeaways

  • Amazon faces a £1.1 billion damages claim from the British Independent Retailers Association over alleged misuse of seller data.
  • The claim accuses Amazon of manipulating the "Buy Box" feature to favor certain retailers.
  • This is the largest collective action by retailers in the UK, covering the period from October 2015 to present.
  • Retailers pay a 30% commission to Amazon for each sale, unaware of the risk of their data being used against them.
  • The class action aims to recover damages for small and medium businesses affected by Amazon's practices.


Amazon's alleged misuse of Marketplace sellers' data and manipulation of the "Buy Box" feature could lead to significant financial and reputational damage. The £1.1 billion claim by BIRA reflects growing concerns over data privacy and market fairness, potentially impacting Amazon's relationships with third-party sellers and consumer trust. Short-term, Amazon may face regulatory tightening and increased scrutiny, while long-term, it could alter its business practices to comply with stricter data protection laws. This case might also encourage other independent retailers to seek legal recourse, signaling a broader shift in how tech giants are held accountable for market practices.

Did You Know?

  • Buy Box Feature: The "Buy Box" on Amazon is a key feature that allows customers to add items from a specific seller directly into their shopping carts with a single click. Winning the Buy Box is crucial for sellers as it significantly increases visibility and sales. Amazon's algorithm determines which seller gets the Buy Box based on various factors including price, availability, seller rating, and shipping options.
  • Collective Action: In legal terms, a collective action is a lawsuit where a group of individuals with similar grievances against the same entity join together to sue. This type of litigation is particularly useful in cases where individual claims are too small to justify separate lawsuits but collectively can result in significant damages. In the UK, collective actions are often filed under the "opt-out" regime, meaning all affected parties are automatically included unless they choose to opt out.
  • Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT): The Competition Appeal Tribunal in the UK is a specialist judicial body with cross-disciplinary expertise in law, economics, business, and accountancy. It has jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving competition law, economic regulation, and certain commercial disputes. The CAT's role is to provide an efficient and effective means of resolving competition disputes and to ensure that the principles of competition law are upheld.

You May Also Like

This article is submitted by our user under the News Submission Rules and Guidelines. The cover photo is computer generated art for illustrative purposes only; not indicative of factual content. If you believe this article infringes upon copyright rights, please do not hesitate to report it by sending an email to us. Your vigilance and cooperation are invaluable in helping us maintain a respectful and legally compliant community.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get the latest in enterprise business and tech with exclusive peeks at our new offerings