Consumer advocates concerned about the dominance of large online platforms

Consumer advocates are concerned about the increasing market power of large online platforms like Amazon. The problem is that these are now no longer just a marketplace, but also as a seller themselves, said the head of the federal consumer association, Klaus Müller, of the dpa.

In doing so, they used the data they had collected to target products that were selling particularly well. “That means they go from referee to team-mate. And none of us would like a football game where the referee can suddenly score goals himself,” emphasized Müller.

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In the Corona crisis in particular, platforms like Amazon recorded an “insane profit surge”. It is all the more urgent that the federal government finally get its new competition law on the way, said Müller. “This set of instruments would give the Bundeskartellamt a preventive opportunity to take active action, especially in the digital economy, in order to combat market power.”

The draft by Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) provides for stricter rules of the game for platforms that dominate the market. The antitrust authorities should be able to prohibit them from treating offers from competitors and their own offers – for example in the presentation of search results – differently. Consumers should be able to decide on the best product for them without being influenced.

Müller also called for a Europe-wide solution. “It is absolutely possible, if Europe agrees, to bind Facebook, Apple, Google, Alibaba and others to European law,” he emphasized. “It works, you just have to want it.”


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