A £1bn damages claim has been filed against Amazon in the “biggest collective action ever” launched by UK retailers.

The claim, made on behalf of retailers selling on Amazon’s UK marketplace, alleges the company is illegally misusing their data and “manipulating the Amazon Buy Box” to benefit the company.

The claim is being brought by the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) on behalf of retailers at the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London. The association said it was the “biggest collective action ever” launched by UK retailers.

It said that between October 2015 and the present date, Amazon is accused of using “non-public” data belonging to UK retailers and manipulating the Amazon Buy Box to “engage in a product entry strategy that resulted in sales and profits being diverted from these retailers to Amazon”.

The retailers involved were said to be “unaware” that Amazon was allegedly illegally using their data for its benefit.

Amazon has long challenged the accusations that when it makes and sells its own products it misuses information from third-party sellers, and it has also challenged allegations that it uses the Buy Box, which showcases featured products, to benefit the company.

The retail giant also made several commitments after the UK  Competition and Markets Authority opened an investigation in 2022 alleging it was abusing its position by giving an unfair advantage to its own retail business over third-party retailers on the marketplace.

BIRA chief executive Andrew Goodacre said: “The British public has a strong relationship with its local, independent retailers and ensuring they are not put out of business by Amazon’s illegal actions is a key driving force behind this collective action. 

“The filing of the claim today is the first step towards retailers obtaining compensation for what Amazon has done.”

BIRA has instructed international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP on the case. 

Retail Week has approached Amazon for comment.