The Federal Trade Commission filed a long-awaited antitrust lawsuit on Tuesday against Amazon claiming the company “has illegally protected a monopoly in online retail.”
The FTC asserts, “Amazon’s actions allow it to stop rivals and sellers from lowering prices, degrade quality for shoppers, overcharge sellers, stifle innovation, and prevent rivals from fairly competing against Amazon.”
Amazon faces a landmark antitrust lawsuit, with the FTC and 17 state attorneys general accusing the retailer of abusing its dominant position in the marketplace and acting as a monopoly to “artificially” raise prices. https://t.co/sMCwJ1vwtw pic.twitter.com/Ujx2kJnfZm
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) September 27, 2023
Seventeen states have piled aboard the lawsuit, which alleges Amazon is operating without competition in two markets.
States involved in the lawsuit are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.
FTC Chair Lina Khan told Bloomberg’s Peggy Collins the agency’s claim against Amazon notes “both a set of anti-discounting tactics that Amazon uses to punish any seller or retailer that dares to discount, and ultimately these sets of tactics deter sellers and retailers from lowering prices and closes off an entire dimension of price competition.”
Amazon responded to the lawsuit, touting the FTC has lost sight of its mission and insisting they are wrong. David Zaplosky, Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy and General Counsel to Amazon, posted on X, “We think the FTC’s lawsuit against Amazon is misguided.”
We think the FTC’s lawsuit against Amazon is misguided. Here is our initial response. https://t.co/VuIExpJGPa
— David Zapolsky (@DavidZapolsky) September 26, 2023
Former FTC Commissioner Mozelle Thompson weighed in with concern that the organization could face backlash if the lawsuit is unsuccessful. Thompson didn’t mince words when he implied the FTC may be aiming to make an example out of Amazon to send a message to Big Tech about how they are expected to carry out their business activities.
The FTC also sued Amazon in June for allegedly using deceitful practices to fool customers into subscribing to Amazon Prime, as well as making it difficult for them to cancel their subscriptions.
Is cornering the market a faux pas? Absolutely not. If there is a devil to be found in Amazon’s business practices, he most certainly lies in the details.