Jeff Bezos might not be quaking in his new $500m super-yacht, but Amazon – its share price having lost all the gains it made in the pandemic – is facing a new foe: a well-connected new coalition of legal firms, on both sides of the Atlantic, with an Amazon-shaped axe to grind.

As we report, the Responsible Online Commerce Coalition (ROCC), is lining up a possible class action of suppliers against the online behemoth. The group wants the huge range of Amazon’s sellers to sign up, including those contributing to its £1bn-plus turnover grocery business, for as little as £8 a month – around the same as your average Prime subscription.

The Grocer has already revealed how being added to the list of companies policed by the Groceries Code Adjudicator last year has started to result in changes at Amazon. In January, we reported how it was promising to be more transparent, to weed out processes long banned at traditional supermarkets, and to provide new written notice, in a reasonable timeframe, for delists under its infamous algorithm-based delisting process known as CRAP (can’t realise a profit).

But, as the ROCC says, GSCOP is just one weapon in its “arsenal” in a series of challenges likely to be put down to the way Amazon operates, in the UK, the US and the EU.

The ROCC launched ahead of new laws governing the powers of online giants – including Amazon, Google, Apple and Meta – being developed in all three territories. In the UK this comes in the form of the new Digital Markets Unit (DMU), due to work under the auspices of the CMA, with the necessary legislation due to be introduced in April.

The fact that one of the ROCC’s partners is Tom Smith, who led the legal team on the UK’s Digital Markets Taskforce, suggests lawyers are confident they will have grounds to challenge Amazon.

Smith denies the new group are “attack dogs”. But with the ROCC already having given evidence in the US Senate, clearly these are no gentle poodles either. It will be fascinating to see how Amazon, and indeed its suppliers, react.