YEAR 2023 No 3

ISSN 2182-9845

The Amazon Market Place case: The risks of being a judge and party

Carmen Herrero Suárez


Self-preferencing; platform; vertical integration; gatekeeper; Amazon.


A common feature of dominant digital platforms is that they are integrated into a plurality of business lines, including the markets they organise or connect, so that they operate a platform and market their own goods and services on it. This dual role played by platforms in various digital markets, acting simultaneously as intermediaries and providers, has raised fears that it may be exploited by platforms to further entrench their dominance, frustrate competition and stifle innovation. Despite the introduction of novel terms, such as self-preferencing, we are actually facing a classic conflict of interest that can be addressed from different branches of the legal system.

Table of contents

1. The platform economy
2. Dual role of some of the big digital platforms: The Amazon Market Place case
3. Legal possibilities of action against self-preferencing
3.1. Control of structures versus control of behaviour?
3.2. Difficulty of application of antitrust law
3.3. Regulatory solutions: DMA assessment
3.4. Unfair conduct?