F T C Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Amazon

Discussion in 'Online Retailers' started by John Brunner, Sep 27, 2023.

  1. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I saw this on a couple of news sites. This one is not behind a paywall. This is a very odd lawsuit, and might make one wonder if it's a form of shake-down.

    Reason Magazine
    9/26/23

    This lawsuit is being brought by the FTC and the attorneys general of 17 states/commonwealths:
    STATE OF NEW YORK,
    STATE OF CONNECTICUT,
    COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
    STATE OF DELAWARE,
    STATE OF MAINE,
    STATE OF MARYLAND,
    COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS,
    STATE OF MICHIGAN,
    STATE OF MINNESOTA,
    STATE OF NEVADA,
    STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE,
    STATE OF NEW JERSEY,
    STATE OF NEW MEXICO,
    STATE OF OKLAHOMA,
    STATE OF OREGON,

    The lawsuit says Amazon's anticompetitive conduct occurs in two markets—the online superstore market that serves shoppers and the market for online marketplace services purchased by sellers.

    Allegedly Amazon represses product search results from 3rd party sellers if those sellers undercut Amazon's price for that product, thus inducing those sellers to raise their prices to consumers. The articles states that much of the lawsuit makes no sense whatsoever. For example, there is no such legal place as 'online superstore market that serves shoppers' or the 'online marketplace services purchased by sellers.' The FTC just made those terms up for the lawsuit. And the suit alleges that Prime subscription fee makes subscribers feel as though they must make the subscription fee worth it by making more purchases on Amazon. But that's no different than what a COSTCO or Sam's Club membership might compel you to do. The FTC also said that a Prime membership is "too difficult to cancel," because it takes 6 clicks. :rolleyes:

    The chair of the FTC (Lina Khan) is highly activist, and has had her attempts at blocking acquisitions shot down by the courts.
     
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  2. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    I saw that too @John Brunner. I understood it to be illegal business practices such as outlined in your summary, not so much antitrust. I know they are trying to put many local sellers out of business to reduce competition though. Walmart did similar things in past years.
     
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