Amazon

Amazon has been hit with a record-breaking European Union fine of $886.6 million (€746 million) for breaching the bloc’s GDPR rules on processing data.

The fine, the largest ever issued under the EU’s privacy laws, revealed by the company in a securities filing, was issued earlier this month by the Luxembourg National Commission and accuses the e-commerce giant of breaching the rules with undisclosed business practices.

Amazon will be appealing the fine, it said, insisting that it had not broken the EU’s stringent GDPR rules.

Under the rules, businesses are required to seek people’s consent before using their personal data.

Should they fail to do so, European data protection watchdogs are able to issue companies with fines as high as four per cent of their annual global sales.

The sanction comes as European institutions are ramping up their enforcement of data protection rules. In December, Google was issued a €100 million fine in French courts for breaching the country’s rules on online advertising trackers.

Amazon did not say how long it expected its appeal process to last, but if previous cases involving the company are anything to go by, it will likely take multiple years.

In May, four years after a Luxembourg court was ordered to recover unpaid taxes of around €250 million from the country, the EU General Court dismissed the case after Amazon and the country – where it has its headquarters – appealed.

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