Guangzhou IP Court Accepts First Cross-Border E-commerce Dispute of Abusing Market Dominance by Overseas E-commerce Platform
Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court recently registered its first cross-border e-commerce dispute involving an allegation of market dominance abuse by an overseas e-commerce platform. The case has been brought by Guangzhou Mengbian Information Technology Co., Ltd. (referred to as “Mengbian Company”) against Amazon European Services Company (referred to as “Amazon Europe Company”).
Mengbian Company, an outbound trade agency engaged in cross-border e-commerce, alleges that Amazon Europe Company, a subsidiary of global e-commerce giant Amazon, exercises market dominance within the e-commerce sector across Europe. According to the plaintiff’s claims, Amazon Europe Company violated Article 3 of the “Amazon Services European Business Solution Agreement” by arbitrarily closing Mengbian Company’s online store, blocking its account, and refusing transactions.
The lawsuit seeks the following remedies from Amazon Europe Company:
- Reopening Mengbian Company’s frozen account
- Modifying buy box algorithms and platform data, allowing Mengbian Company to select logistics providers freely and compete fairly with Amazon’s self-operated products
- Compensating Mengbian Company for economic losses and returning account balances
The case is currently in the process of being served to the defendant.
As the cross-border e-commerce sector experiences rapid growth, related international intellectual property disputes have become increasingly common. In parallel, Chinese cross-border e-commerce enterprises have exhibited a heightened legal awareness, actively assuming the role of plaintiffs rather than merely defendants. In this case, Mengbian Company, acting as a plaintiff, asserts Amazon Europe Company’s abuse of market dominance, seeking to eliminate competition and infringing on legitimate rights.
According to Article 2 of the Anti-Monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China, the provisions of this law shall apply to conduct outside the territory of the People’s Republic of China that eliminates or restricts competition in the domestic market. Based on this clause, the jurisdictional nexus in cases where losses were incurred within China due to foreign monopolistic conduct can be established. As Amazon Europe Company operates as an overseas e-commerce platform, it potentially holds market dominance in the realm of overseas e-commerce. Such dominance could directly, substantially, and significantly restrict the competitive capabilities of Mengbian Company, a cross-border e-commerce entity. Since Mengbian Company is located in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, where the alleged infringement took place, the Guangzhou IP Court has jurisdiction over the case.
This landmark case represents the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court’s inaugural acceptance of a dispute between a cross-border e-commerce enterprise and an overseas e-commerce platform involving alleged market dominance abuse. The court is actively pioneering criteria for determining jurisdictional connections, such as the location of infringement consequences, in international anti-monopoly cases, while upholding its judicial authority in accordance with the law.