UK Grocery Regulator Threatens Amazon with Formal Investigation

The UK Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) issued a warning to Amazon, suggesting that it may begin a formal investigation.

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The UK Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) has warned Amazon that it may begin a formal probe.
The UK Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) has warned Amazon that it may begin a formal probe.

The UK’s Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) has warned Amazon that it may launch a formal investigation if the company does not adhere to the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP).

Compliance Issues:

According to the GCA’s 2024 annual survey, less than half of the suppliers directly supplying Amazon believe the company consistently or mostly complies with the GSCOP. This marks a decline from previous years, with Amazon’s compliance score dropping to 47% from 59% in 2023.

The GSCOP is designed to ensure fair treatment of suppliers by Britain’s largest grocery retailers, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Marks & Spencer. Amazon, which has been included under this regulation since 2022, must adhere to guidelines such as providing adequate notice before contract changes and explaining reasons for ending supplier contracts.

Amazon Response to the Issue:

An Amazon spokesperson expressed disappointment with the survey results and stated their commitment to improving compliance. They highlighted recent improvements, including clearer explanations for pricing decisions and enhanced procedures for handling invoice disputes.

The Groceries Code Adjudicator Mark White emphasized the importance of swift and comprehensive action from Amazon to meet regulatory standards. The GCA closely monitors Amazon’s compliance efforts and will consider launching a formal investigation if necessary. Potential penalties could include fines of up to 1% of Amazon’s UK turnover.

Industry-wide Compliance:

Excluding Amazon, overall compliance scores among other retailers averaged 94%, consistent with 2023 figures. This underscores the discrepancy in Amazon’s performance relative to its peers in the grocery sector.

James Adam

James Adam, a noted business writer for CEO Times Magazine, specializes in insightful industry analysis and executive profiles. Known for his clear, concise style, James offers readers an expert perspective on global business trends and market dynamics.

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