Amazon has offered a settlement against EU charges that the online giant undermined rivals by misusing the sensitive information of independent sellers to benefit its own retail business, the EU said Thursday.

The offer by Amazon is a huge step by the US-based behemoth that has denied for years accusations by rivals and regulators that it unfairly uses the troves of data parked on its platform to benefit its own products and services.

In its offer, the US tech giant commits to stop using non-public data such as sales performance and revenue that are "relating to or derived from the activities of independent sellers on its marketplace," an EU statement said.

Amazon also made an offer to end a second EU investigation on whether its hugely popular Prime service unfairly pushes buyers towards sellers using Amazon's logistics service.

This probe also looked into the Buy Box in which a user can swiftly make a purchase, skipping through the inconvenience of several screens and choices.

The company said it would display an alternative offer in the Buy Box feature if there is a substantial difference in price or delivery from the first one.

Amazon said while "we... disagree with several conclusions the European Commission made, we have engaged constructively with the Commission to address their concerns."

This will "preserve our ability to serve European customers and the more than 185,000 European small and medium-sized businesses selling through our stores".

The steps Amazon has proposed to settle the case would also need to be take to comply with new EU legislation
The steps Amazon has proposed to settle the case would also need to be take to comply with new EU legislation

The EU said it was asking rivals for feedback on Amazon's concessions by September 9 and, if approved, they would remain in place for five years under close monitoring by Brussels.

Many of these accusations towards Amazon are being answered separately in the EU's landmark Digital Markets Act (DMA), a major EU legislation set to come into force next year.

The DMA imposes a long list of do's and don'ts on tech giant gatekeepers, including how they handle the sensitive data of competitors who use their platforms.

Alfonso Lamadrid, a competition lawyer at Garrigues in Brussels said the settlement offer was "a win-win" for both the Commission and Amazon.

On the one hand, it kept the commission from potentially fighting a long battle in court, and "at the same time the commitments essentially anticipate what Amazon would have needed to do to comply with the upcoming DMA," he said.

Amazon had previously settled a case with the EU commission over e-books and still faces scrutiny with national regulators in Germany, as well as non-EU Britain.

The commission said the settlement would not apply in Italy, where Amazon paid a huge fine and changed its business practices over similar concerns.