Amazon doesn’t have a shining reputation when it comes to the way it handles its third-party sellers. Merchants have reported restrictions on where they can sell, being kicked off the site for no obvious reasons and issues with counterfeiting. But Germany has forced Amazon to change its attitude, and the retailer will now be overhauling its terms of service for third-party sellers worldwide.
Germany’s anti-trust authority has agreed to drop a seven-month investigation into Amazon’s merchant terms after Amazon said it would amend its Business Services Agreement. The new terms will mean Amazon now complies with European rules governing liability towards its business partners on its European platforms. It will have to give merchants 30 days’ notice — and an explanation — before removing a seller from the platform, and merchants in Europe will be able to take Amazon to court in their own country. Previously this was only possible in Luxembourg.
Other changes will cover product descriptions, ease of understanding Amazon’s terms of services and fairer presentation of customer reviews. Merchants will also be able to appeal against Amazon’s decisions on who bears the costs of returns and refunds.
( This article is an abridged version of that posted on engadget.com )