— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on July 18, 2019, Thursday.
Amazon experienced ups and downs in just one day. On the one hand, its prime day breaks record again; on the other hand, it is facing a new round of probe from EU Commission. Let' s have a look over its ups first. When the prime day which lasted for 2 consecutive days on Monday and Tuesday closed, amazon can't wait to share their proud record, releasing a statement on Wednesday morning 9 o'clock local time.
Amazon didn't disclose a specific sales data though; it said the 2 days member promotion breaks the total sales of black Friday and Cyber Monday in last year, selling up to 175 million items on amazon platform. Now amazon has taken the initiative of U.S. summer shopping season. Concept of July Christmas is also built based on that. Walmart and eBay also launched their sales drive at the same time or even do that in advance, but obviously, they can't catch up.
Amazon's strong sales are also largely due to the number of third-party merchants on its platform.According to data released by amazon, the total sales of small and medium-sized third-party merchants during the membership day this year exceeded $2 billion
But how exactly does amazon treat these third-party merchants? This has attracted the interest of the EU's governing bodies.
We know that there are both amazon's own and third-party merchants' products on amazon, and amazon has been collecting data from these third-party merchants to analyze sales trends and consumer preferences.
In an interview with CNBC last September, the European commission's competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, raised the question of whether amazon was using the data it collected from third-party merchants on its platform to make a profit by copying similar products. If so, then amazon, a giant, will create improper competition for the small and medium-sized enterprises on its platform.
By the time Vestager raised the issue, she had already begun a preliminary investigation of amazon. So it came as little surprise on Wednesday when the European commission formally announced that it was launching an antitrust investigation into amazon.
Although the investigation may not lead to a final indictment, Vestager's fine is spectacular. During Vestager's tenure, few major American technology companies have escaped being investigated by the European commission.
Google has already been fined $9.5 billion, just days after Facebook was fined another $5 billion, and now it's been revealed that chipmaker Qualcomm could also be fined $1 billion, so amazon's formal investigation is likely to end with a hefty fine.
Just a few days ago, the market was debating when amazon would surpass $2,031, becoming the first publicly traded company in the world to exceed $1 trillion. However, amazon's share price came under pressure as the EU formally announced its investigation, closing down 0.89% at around $1992 overnight. Investors looking to see amazon set a record will have to be patient for some time.