The European Union has launched a formal investigation into Amazon, opening a new front against the US tech giants.
Announcing the decision, the European commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager, said she wanted to take “a very close look” at whether Amazon’s business practices broke EU antitrust rules.
The investigation into another US company seems bound to provoke the ire of the White House, only weeks after Donald Trump said Vestager “hates the United States perhaps worse than any other person I’ve ever met”.
The Danish commissioner, who is due to become one of two first vice-presidents at the commission this autumn, has won international recognition for her tough action on US tech companies such as Google and Apple when Brussels investigations found either an abuse of market power or underpayment of corporate taxes. The commission has always insisted that its actions are targeting anti-competitive behaviour rather than singling out companies by nationality.