June 7, 2024

Willkie is representing British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) in a landmark lawsuit against Amazon that seeks £1 billion damages on behalf of UK retailers for the e-commerce giant’s alleged misuse of their confidential data and manipulation of the Buy Box in favor of Amazon’s retail operations.

The claim, the biggest collective action ever launched by UK retailers, is being brought at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in London. It asserts that since October 2015, Amazon has illegally misused data belonging to UK retailers and manipulated the Amazon Buy Box to benefit its own retail operations, diverting sales revenue and profits from retailers to Amazon. 

The retailers, many of whom are small and medium sized UK businesses, were unaware that Amazon was illegally using their data to benefit its own retail operation. Amazon was already charging them a non-negotiable 30% commission on every product sold on the site. By misusing their proprietary data to bring to market rival products that are sold cheaper, and manipulating the all-important Buy Box in its favor, Amazon, the suit alleges, has effectively been pushing many of the UK’s independent retailers out of the market.

The Willkie team is led by partners Boris Bronfentrinker, Elaine Whiteford and Michelle Clark.

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