Canadian Competition Bureau launches investigation into Amazon Canada

The bureau is looking into if Amazon is "impacting competition to the detriment of consumers and companies that do business in Canada"


The Canadian Competition Bureau has launched an investigation into U.S.-based online retailer Amazon.

The regulatory agency aims to look into whether Amazon is “impacting competition to the detriment of consumers and companies that do business in Canada.” In a press release, the Competition Bureau says that “there is no conclusion of wrongdoing at this time,” and states that the investigation is focused on Amazon potentially engaging in anti-competitive practices.

Below are the key elements the Competition Bureau intends look into in its investigation:

    • Any past or existing Amazon policies that may impact third-party sellers’ willingness to offer their products for sale at a lower price on other retail channels, such as their own websites or other online marketplace.
    • The ability of third-party sellers to succeed on Amazon’s marketplace without using its “Fulfilment By Amazon” service or advertising on
    • Any efforts or strategies by Amazon that may influence consumers to purchase products it offers for sale over those offered by competing sellers.

In a statement to several publications, Amazon said “we are co-operating with the Competition Bureau’s review and continue to work hard to support small and medium sized businesses who sell in our Canadian store — and help them grow.”

The watchdog wants individuals and businesses that have worked with to confidentially contact the agency with information.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadians are likely shopping online via Amazon more than they have in the past. It’s unclear what Amazon’s anti-competitive practices might entail. That said, the e-commerce giant has been accused in the past of controlling product prices and offering third-party companies preferred service if they sell exclusively on the platform.

Further, Amazon’s Basics brand now includes products in nearly every category, allowing the tech giant to promote its own offerings over items from third-party companies.

Source: Competition Bureau