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Document 52017XX0811(02)

Final Report of the Hearing Officer — E-Book MFNs and related matters (AT.40153)

OJ C 264, 11.8.2017, p. 6–6 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 264/6

Final Report of the Hearing Officer (1)

E-Book MFNs and related matters


(2017/C 264/05)


Following an ex officio investigation, on 11 June 2015, the Commission initiated proceedings within the meaning of Article 11(6) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 (2) and Article 2(1) of Regulation (EC) No 773/2004 (3) against, Inc. and Amazon EU, SARL. On 9 December 2016, proceedings were also initiated against Amazon Digital Services, LLC and Amazon Media EU, SARL (collectively ‘Amazon’).


On 9 December 2016, the Commission adopted pursuant to Article 9(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 a Preliminary Assessment, expressing concerns that certain parity clauses and similar provisions introduced in Amazon’s agreements with E-book Suppliers may amount to an abuse of a dominant position in breach of Article 102 of the Treaty and Article 54 of the EEA Agreement.


While not being in agreement with the Commission’s preliminary conclusions, on 13 January 2017, Amazon offered commitments to meet the concerns expressed by the Commission in its Preliminary Assessment.


On 26 January 2017, the Commission published a notice in accordance with Article 27(4) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003, summarising the case and the commitments, and inviting interested third parties to give their observations (4). The Commission received observations from fifteen interested third parties. In response to these comments, on 31 March 2017, Amazon submitted revised commitments (the ‘Final Commitments’).


In the draft decision, the Commission considers that the Final Commitments address adequately the competition concerns as expressed in the Preliminary Assessment and it makes these Final Commitments binding upon Amazon. In light hereof, the Commission concludes that there are no longer grounds for action on its part, and thus the proceedings in this case should be brought to an end.


I have not received any request or complaint from Amazon in relation to this procedure (5).


In light of all the above, I consider that the effective exercise of the procedural rights has been respected in this case.

Brussels, 25 April 2017.


(1)  Pursuant to Articles 16 and 17 of Decision 2011/695/EU of the President of the European Commission of 13 October 2011 on the function and terms of reference of the hearing officer in certain competition proceedings (OJ L 275, 20.10.2011, p. 29) (‘Decision 2011/695/EU’).

(2)  Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJ L 1, 4.1.2003, p. 1) (‘Regulation 1/2003’).

(3)  Commission Regulation (EC) No 773/2004 of 7 April 2004 relating to the conduct of proceedings by the Commission pursuant to Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty (OJ L 123, 27.4.2004, p. 18).

(4)  Communication from the Commission published pursuant to Article 27(4) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 in Case AT.40153 — E-book MFNs and related matters (OJ C 26, 26.1.2017, p. 2).

(5)  According to Article 15(1) of Decision 2011/695/EU, parties to the proceedings offering commitments pursuant to Article 9 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 may call upon the Hearing Officer at any stage of the procedure in order to ensure the effective exercise of their procedural rights.