The Federal Trade Commission and 17 attorneys general, through a wide-ranging lawsuit, said Amazon abused its powers to raise prices to buyers and charge high fees to companies that sells on its platform.
The antitrust lawsuit against Amazon was filed Tuesday in Washington’s Western District Court and seeks to prevent the company from abusing its powers to raise prices for buyers and impose high fees on companies that sells its platform.
This fact marks a historic political trial of one of the most influential companies in the world. He reported post in Washington
The Federal Trade Commission alleged that Amazon engaged in illegal behavior in its online shopping marketplace and in the many services it offered to third-party sellers, allowing the company to extract “monopoly rent from all that it can reach.” », according to a press release.
The lawsuit focuses on a cornerstone of monopoly law: prices for consumers. The fees, requirements and incentives give Amazon one out of every two dollars a seller earns on the platform, effectively resulting in a “50 percent tax on Amazon,” Khan said. The FTC maintains that those costs are passed on to buyers.
“Amazon is a monopolist,” the lawsuit says. “It exploits its monopolies in ways that benefit Amazon but harm its customers: the tens of millions of American households who regularly shop at Amazon’s online superstore and the hundreds of thousands of businesses that rely on Amazon to reach them.”
David Zapolsky, Amazon’s senior vice president of global public policy and general counsel, said the lawsuit was “factually and legally incorrect.”
“Today’s lawsuit makes clear that the FTC’s approach has seriously departed from its mission to protect consumers and competition,” he said. “If the FTC gets its way, the result will be fewer products to choose from, higher prices, slower delivery for consumers, and fewer options for small businesses — the opposite of what antitrust law is designed to do.”
Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post. Interim CEO Patty Stonesifer sits on Amazon’s board of directors.
INVESTIGATED SINCE 2019
The Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation into Amazon’s potential violations of US antitrust law in 2019 under the Trump administration, but the investigation has expanded significantly under Khan’s leadership.
The agency’s relationship with the company has also become more contentious.
Within weeks of Khan’s confirmation, the company filed a petition seeking his recusal from the case, citing his longstanding criticism of the company.