Amazon Lobbyists Lose European Parliament Access Amid Oversight Disagreement

Amazon Lobbyists Lose European Parliament Access Amid Oversight Disagreement

The European Parliament has withdrawn access badges from Amazon lobbyists due to an ongoing dispute regarding the adequacy of scrutiny over the e-commerce giant. This action followed a request from the EU’s employment and social affairs committee, which has accused Amazon of obstructing inquiries into alleged breaches of fundamental rights.

Expressing disappointment over the withdrawal affecting 14 staff members, Amazon emphasised its commitment to engaging with EU policymakers and highlighted its extensive presence in the region for over 25 years. Nevertheless, committee chairman Dragoș Pîslaru challenged Amazon’s assertions, criticising the company for lobbying while impeding the committee’s ability to represent the interests of European citizens and investigate potential rights violations.

Pîslaru disclosed that since 2021, the committee has been actively investigating working conditions for Amazon employees in the EU, inviting company representatives to participate in hearings and facility visits. Despite Amazon’s claims of a commitment to constructive dialogue, its refusal to engage in what it perceived as biassed sessions and scheduling conflicts during peak retail seasons have only escalated tensions.

While Amazon’s lobbyists remain permitted to attend the European Parliament as regular visitors, this incident underscores broader conflicts between the EU and major tech corporations such as Google, Meta, and Amazon. These confrontations have resulted in significant fines for breaches of European law, alongside the recent implementation of the Digital Services Act (DSA), which places new obligations on tech giants.

Furthermore, X, formerly known as Twitter, is under investigation for potential violations of the DSA’s disinformation regulations. The standoff between Amazon and the European Parliament reflects ongoing efforts to hold tech companies accountable and ensure adherence to EU standards, signalling a broader trend of regulatory scrutiny within the digital realm.


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