The EU just launched a formal antitrust probe into Amazon

Margrethe VestagerREUTERS/Yves Herman

The EU is cracking down on Amazon.

On Wednesday, the European Commission announced that it will launch a formal investigation into Amazon. Reports of this investigation first surfaced on Tuesday.

The investigation will look into whether Amazon's use of data from independent retailers who sell on its marketplace is in breach of EU competition rules. Amazon's role as both a seller and a platform for other merchants has become one of the most contentious areas of the business.

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is leading the investigation, said in a statement on Wednesday that she will be taking a "very close look" at Amazon's "dual role."

"We need to ensure that large online platforms don't eliminate these benefits through anti-competitive behaviour," she said. "I have therefore decided to take a very close look at Amazon's business practices and its dual role as marketplace and retailer, to assess its compliance with EU competition rules."

More follows.

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