Antitrust: Amazon Fined $900M By EU For Privacy Violations

  • General
  • August 1, 2021
  • 166
  • 5 minutes read
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Tech behemoth Amazon is for the nth time in the crosshairs of the European Union (EU). The latest saga in that arena is that Amazon has been fined a record-breaking amount for alleged privacy violations, according to an SEC filing from the company.

  • Amazon has been fined the sum of €746 million ($888mn) by the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) for not complying with data privacy laws. It’s the largest fine imposed under Europe’s data protection law. 
  • The fine originates from the CNPD accusing Amazon of processing customers’ personal data in violation of the EU’s famous-cum-infamous General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws. 
  • In June, it was reported (WSJ) that the Luxembourg data protection agency had sanctioned Amazon’s privacy practices and proposed a fine topping $425mn to the EU’s other two-dozen or so national data protection authorities. Now, it appears that the final fine is much larger than that. 
  • Before now, the biggest fine imposed under GDPR rules was a €50mn penalty on search giant Google in 2019, and this one is about 18x that. Normally, GDPR regulations stipulate that a company could be fined up to 4% of revenue for violations. 
  • Amazon termed the record-breaking fine as “without merit” and made note of its intention to “defend ourselves vigorously in this matter”. Then, it noted that it’s making revisions to its data practices as a result of the matter, but didn’t specify what revisions.
  • Amazon and the EU surely aren’t friends. They’ve been in each other’s crosshairs for a long time, with legal battles and fines a regular occurrence in the rivalry. This is just the latest episode of the saga, which Amazon has vowed to defend against, i.e. appeal.

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