Spain watchdog determines Amazon needs to heed mail service rules

FILE PHOTO: An Amazon package is delivered and left at the door during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in El Masnou, north to Barcelona, Spain, March 26, 2020. REUTERS/ Albert Gea

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish antitrust watchdog said on Tuesday it had determined that U.S. tech giant Amazon AMZN.O operates as a mail service in Spain and has to comply with specific rules within one month.

The CNMC, as the regulator is known, opened an investigation in February as it sought to find out whether Amazon had to abide by rules on labour, tax, privacy and immigration as other mail services do in Spain.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The inquiry, which focused on two firms within the Amazon group, concluded that they operate as mail services despite being an electronic commerce business, and that they use other postal operators to supplement their direct deliveries of packages to clients, the CNMC said in a statement.

It gave Amazon one month to declare itself as a mail operator and to fulfil the sector’s rules, such as data and users privacy, as well as guaranteeing that its delivery workers fulfil CNMC requirements.

In 2018, Italy’s communications regulator AGCOM fined Amazon 300,000 euros ($352,230.00) for offering postal services without proper authorisation.

(Refiles to amend USD conversion to reflect current exchange rate in last paragraph)

Reporting by Joan Faus; Editing by Mark Heinrich