Amazon said it would appeal the decision by Italy's watchdog which accused the retail giant of abusing its dominant position by promoting its own logistics service.

As well as Amazon, Alphabet's Google, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp have drawn heightened scrutiny in Europe.
As well as Amazon, Alphabet's Google, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp have drawn heightened scrutiny in Europe. (Reuters)

Italy's antitrust watchdog has fined Amazon $1.28 billion (1.13 billion euros) for alleged abuse of market dominance.

Italy's watchdog said in a statement on Thursday that Amazon had leveraged its dominant position in the Italian market for intermediation services on marketplaces to favour the adoption of its own logistics service, Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), by sellers active on Amazon.it.

The authority said Amazon tied the use of FBA access to a set of exclusive benefits, including the Prime label that help increase visibility and boost sales on Amazon.it.

"Amazon prevents third-party sellers from associating the Prime label with offers not managed with FBA," it said.

The antitrust authority also said it would impose corrective steps that will be subject to review by a monitoring trustee.

The Prime label makes it easier to sell to the more than 7 million most loyal and high-spending consumers members of Amazon’s loyalty program.

READ MORE: Italy slaps heavy penalties on Amazon, Apple over breaching EU rules

Retail giant to appeal

Amazon said it "strongly disagreed" with the Italian regulator's decision and would appeal.

Amazon said FBA "is a completely optional service" and that the majority of third-party sellers on Amazon do not use it.

"When sellers choose FBA, they do so because it is efficient, convenient and competitive in terms of price," the US group said in a statement.

"The proposed fine and remedies are unjustified and disproportionate," it added.

Global regulatory scrutiny of tech giants has been increasing after a string of scandals over privacy and misinformation, as well as complaints from some businesses that they abuse their market power.

As well as Amazon, Alphabet's Google, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp have drawn heightened scrutiny in Europe.

READ MORE: Big Tech to face another bipartisan antitrust bill in US

Source: Reuters