Hausfeld: £900 Million UK Consumer Claim Against Amazon Alleging Breaches of Competition Law Officially Filed at Specialist Court

  • UK Buy Box Claim accuses E-commerce giant of unlawfully favouring its own product offers at consumers’ expense
  • Represents more than 50 million estimated Amazon users in the UK
  • Alleges that Amazon directs users to offers that benefit itself, while concealing offers that may be better for consumers – in breach of UK and EU competition law
  • More than 80% of purchases on Amazon are made via featured offers in the “Buy Box” but Amazon excludes many independent sellers from the Buy Box, even when they offer the same product cheaper or on better terms
  • Alleged abuse by Amazon of its status as dominant online marketplace causes tens of millions of UK customers to pay more than they need to

LONDON--()--Hausfeld confirms that it has filed a ground-breaking legal action against tech giant Amazon at the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London, for allegedly steering consumers towards offers that favour Amazon’s own business, whilst obscuring deals from third party sellers that could be cheaper or better value ("UK Buy Box Claim”).

Julie Hunter, the consumer rights advocate leading the opt-out collective claim on behalf of more than 50 million UK consumers, filed the claim against Amazon at the specialist tribunal yesterday, seeking compensation of around £900 million in total.

Anyone who lives in the UK and made purchases on or on the Amazon app since November 14, 2016 is an eligible member of the claimant class. In accordance with Competition Appeal Tribunal rules, the collective action is being filed on behalf of all potential claimants without them needing to actively opt into the claim.

Ms Hunter is represented by leading disputes-only law firm, Hausfeld, and by Marie Demetriou KC, Robert O’Donoghue KC and Sarah Love of Brick Court Chambers. To learn more about the UK Buy Box Claim, and register for updates, please visit

The filing of a detailed claim form follows last month’s announcement of the legal action’s launch. It also coincides with an ongoing investigation by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority into Amazon’s business practices, preliminary findings of anti-competitive behaviour by the European Commission, and an adverse ruling by Italy’s competition regulator.

Summary of the claim

The legal action claims that Amazon abuses its status as the dominant online marketplace and harms customers by channelling them towards its “featured offer”.

This featured offer – prominently located in the “Buy Box” on Amazon’s website and mobile app – is the only offer considered and selected by the vast majority of users, many of whom trust Amazon and wrongly assume it is the best deal.

However, Amazon uses a secretive and self-favouring algorithm to ensure that the Buy Box nearly always features goods sold directly by Amazon itself, or by third-party retailers who pay hefty storage and delivery fees to Amazon, it is alleged.

The Buy Box is designed and presented in a way that effectively prevents millions of consumers from navigating the site to find cheaper offers, or better delivery options, for the same product, according to the claim.

This manipulation of consumers is a breach of Amazon’s obligation as the dominant marketplace not to distort competition. The claim will accuse Amazon of breaching section 18 of the UK Competition Act 1998 and Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Pending further information to be disclosed by Amazon itself later in the legal process, it is estimated that it is estimated that the class of claimants comprises between 51.6 and 53.1 million UK-based Amazon adult users.

About the class representative

Julie Hunter has worked exclusively in consumer research, advocacy and protection for more than 20 years. She is an independent consultant who has worked with leading consumer organisations in the UK and abroad on topics such as consumer vulnerability, digital services, financial services, consumer rights, customer service and complaints.

Ms Hunter is Chair of the Consumer & Public Interest Network, an independent organisation representing consumers in the development of voluntary standards, supported by the UK standards body BSI. Ms Hunter is also a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel (FSCP), an independent statutory body representing consumer interests in the development of UK policy for the regulation of financial services. Earlier in her career, Ms Hunter spent six years leading research projects and investigations at Which?.

Notes for Editors

About Hausfeld & Co LLP

Hausfeld is a leading disputes-only law firm specialising in competition law, with significant expertise in all aspects of collective redress and group claims, including abuse of dominance litigation against Big Tech and other large corporates.

The firm pioneered the Trucks Cartel litigation in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. It has acted on some of the most complex damages claims of the last decade: on the “Interchange Fee” litigation against Visa and Mastercard, in “Google Shopping” claims on behalf of price comparison websites against Google; against six financial institutions over their participation in unlawful price-fixing of the foreign exchange currency markets; and against Google, Apple and Qualcomm in relation to their alleged abuse of dominance concerning Google Play Store, Apple App Store and the smartphone chip market respectively.


Media enquiries
Conal Walsh / Will Matthews, Palatine Communications

Release Summary

More than 50 million UK customers pay more than they need to because of Amazon’s Buy Box feature, according to landmark legal claim against Tech Giant

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Media enquiries
Conal Walsh / Will Matthews, Palatine Communications