The EU's competition authorities have opened a preliminary antitrust investigation into Amazon over the e-commerce giant’s treatment of smaller merchants on its website, according Telecompaper. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she wants to examine how Amazon uses data it gathers through transactions, including those involving rival sellers, on its platform, the Washington Post reports. 
At a press briefing, she said the probe will look at whether the data, which is collected for legitimate purposes, is also used to give Amazon a competitive advantage over the smaller merchants by providing insights into what kinds of things people want to buy. 
In addition to selling its own products, Amazon allows third-party retailers to sell their goods through its Marketplace. Last year, more than half of the items sold on Amazon worldwide were from third-party sellers. 
Vestager said it was "very early days" in the antitrust investigation into Amazon's business practices. She added that EU regulators have started gathering information on the issue and have sent questionnaires to merchants and others in order to help understand the issue.