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back to article Germany: We're willing to use 'instruments of TORTURE' on Amazon

Germany's antitrust regulator has accused Amazon of thrusting anticompetitive policies upon sellers using its Marketplace. The Bundeskartellamt has been investigating Amazon since February for potentially impeding competition by not allowing sellers to offer their goods at cheaper prices elsewhere, the Süddeutsche Zeitung …

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Joke

Instruments of torture

I thought Government had to promise to forego these as part of joining the EU

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Re: Instruments of torture

Only on people. Companies, that's Okay, they can scream as loud as they like.

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Sorry...

to ruin your fun, but Mundt doesn't mention "instrucments of torture" anywhere in the press release. It sounds like somebody had some fun with Google Translate...

He talks from a "glasklare Verfügung erlassen", a crystal clear mandate or regulation.

Isn't this behaviour exactly what they accused Apple and the publishers of doing? Potz, kettle, black.

Amazon are also struggling against the unions over here due to "slave labour" being flown in from Spain or the Eastern Block countries with promises of high wages, only to be forced onto low wage contracts and forced to live in barrack like conditions or find their own way back home - well, the sub-contractors employed by Amazon to run the Amazon warehouses, not Amazon itself...

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Flame

"Instruments of torture"

Is this their Final Solution to the problem?

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Does he wear little round spectacles, a leather trench coat and a fedora hat? If so, that would make sense, because he sounds like a comedy stereotype of a Gestapo officer.

"It's not always easy as a national authority to enforce rules on global companies," Mundt said. "Fortunately, we have instruments of torture, which we will use if necessary. Also, if you haf seen a picture of ze Madonna wiv da big boobies I vood like to know."

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Anonymous Coward

Obligatory German stereotyping...

"Ve haff vays of making you talk.... er, I mean of stopping you exploiting your dominant market position in an anticompetitif manner".

Also, "Schnell", "For you ze war is over", etc etc.

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I've stopped using Amazon for most things.

I've lost count of the number of times that "this item can not be shipped to your current address" message comes up, not because the seller doesn't ship there, but because of Amazon's restrictive practices on shipping DVDs, CDs and books.

They're a big monopoly and, in my estimation, a lot of these aspects are bordering on monopolistic abuse.

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Mushroom

nice try

But the restrictions are not Amazon's doing. They are the direct result of the publishers....period.

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Re: nice try

> But the restrictions are not Amazon's doing. They are the direct result of the publishers....period.

I can understand if Amazon have arrangements to sell new items that they get from publishers.

But controlling what can be shipped second hand by *other sellers* is an entirely different story.

But even then, what you are claiming is monopolistic interference in a free market of second hand goods by publishers, and it should be investigated and shut down.

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Trollface

Ach, No, Meester Amazon..

...I expect you to pay!

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Correct me if I'm wrong here.

Amazon are forbidding sellers that want to use Amazon marketplace from selling their wares cheaper anywhere else. Is this not exactly the behaviour that got Apple in trouble when they used these type of deals to screw Amazon on ebook prices?

If I remember rightly they were opposed to it then so I wonder if something has changed or are they hypocrites of the worst sort?

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No one expects...

Spanish Inquistion: Now, Amazon -- you are accused of heresy on three counts -- heresy by thought, heresy by word, heresy by deed, and heresy by action -- *four* counts. Do you confess?

Amazon: I don't understand what I'm accused of.

Spanish Inquisition: Ha! Then we'll make you understand! Biggles! Fetch...THE CUSHIONS!

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Re: No one expects...

No! Not the comfy chair! :(

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Agree with Germans on this one...

I found the "instruments of torture" comment the German official made over the top. But I agree, contracts saying sales are non-exclusive, but you can't sell for less elsewhere, are anti-competitive and I have no problem with that being forbidden.

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Re: Agree with Germans on this one...

The mordant humour is surprising but the message is clear - just before that joke Mundt notes that his office has already claimed some big scalps (including Adidas - they're not just bashing foreign companies) and that "we're more energetic than some other competition authorities". Which is surely true - in the UK Amazon would be invited for a chat at Downing St, after which Dave & Vince would emerge all tingly from the reach-around they got.

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Happy

Re: Agree with Germans on this one...

I agree, but I am not sure if the word "Folterinstrument" was such a good choice, but then if you look at what that word gave as an example from German to English and swap the cross to Amazon it gets rather amusing after all.

It seems incredible that a universal symbol such as the cross should be transformed into a hideous instrument of torture for political ends.

Es erscheint unglaublich, dass ein allgemeines Symbol wie das Kreuz aus politischen Gründen in ein ungeheuerliches Folterinstrument verwandelt wird.

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Re: Agree with Germans on this one...

Not quite sure what you're getting at here, maybe there's a subtlety in the German that I don't understand, but you are aware, presumably, of the history of the cross?

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Re: Agree with Germans on this one...

Rather than a cross, I enjoy wearing a necklace with a tiny gold electric chair on it.

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I gree with Italians on this one...

"It seems incredible that a universal symbol such as the cross should be transformed into a hideous instrument of torture for political ends."

WTF are you talking about?

It was invented for precisely that. It was so effective the Romans didn't get a patent on it. It was so effective for doing that that it was invented centuries earlier.

It was such an effective weapon it should be brought back for hanging the ends of politicians on.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't mention the war!

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Anonymous Coward

Even I, as a German enjoyed Fawlty Towers quite a bit

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Happy

Yeah!

....what have the Romans ever done for us!

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