23.08.2021 News

Oppenhoff forces Amazon to unblock a seller’s account on grounds of an abuse of a market-dominating position

Oppenhoff has obtained an interim injunction on behalf of its client mi.to pharm against the Luxembourg-based Amazon Services Europe S.à r.l. before the Regional Court of Hanover on grounds of an abuse of a market-dominating position.

Amazon had suspended mi.to pharm's seller’s account, making a general reference to a violation of its terms of use. No further justification was given. Requests to provide more detailed reasons for blocking the account were in vain. Furthermore, in the absence of access to the seller's account, the stored, unsold goods were in danger of being destroyed.

The Regional Court of Hanover deemed Amazon’s conduct to be an abuse of a market-dominating position. In accordance with the application, it ordered the seller's account to be unblocked and prohibited the destruction of the stored goods. In particular, the court argued that Amazon's general reference to an alleged breach of its terms of use failed to comply with the requirements of the so-called P2B Ordinance for the restriction, suspension or termination of a business relationship by an online intermediary service. Amazon has since unblocked the seller’s account.

Dr. Simon Spangler, antitrust lawyer at Oppenhoff, stated: “Amazon's market position in German e-commerce makes it an indispensable sales channel for many companies. We expressly welcome the decision of the Regional Court of Hanover. It demonstrates that antitrust law set boundaries for Amazon's conduct. Also eagerly awaited is the outcome of the proceedings recently opened by the German Federal Cartel Office against Amazon under the new provisions governing digital groups (§ 19a German Act against Restraints of Competition). This could result in strict conduct requirements for Amazon in the future."

The Oppenhoff team, led by Dr. Simon Spangler (antitrust and distribution law), included Dr. Fee Mäder and Anika Hellmann (both intellectual property law).

For many years now, Oppenhoff has been advising numerous leading companies in the retail and consumer goods industry in the areas of e-commerce and platform sales.

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Dr. Simon Spangler<br/>LL.M. (UCT)

Dr. Simon Spangler
LL.M. (UCT)

PartnerAttorney

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