Feds, States Bring Huge Monopoly Suit Against Amazon

FTC, 17 states say Jeff Bezos' company is an illegal operation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 26, 2023 11:44 AM CDT
Historic Monopoly Lawsuit Brought Against Amazon
The Amazon Prime logo appears on the side of a delivery van as it departs an Amazon warehouse in Dedham, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

The Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys general filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon on Tuesday, alleging the e-commerce behemoth uses its position in the marketplace to inflate prices on other platforms, overcharge sellers, and stifle competition. The lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Western District of Washington, is the result of a years-long investigation into Amazon's businesses and one of the most significant legal challenges brought against the company in its nearly 30-year history, per the AP.

  • "Amazon is a monopolist, and it is exploiting its monopolies in ways that leave shoppers and sellers paying more for worse services," FTC chief Lina Khan told reporters, per the Washington Post. The newspaper, which, like Amazon, is owned by Jeff Bezos, calls the lawsuit "a historic political test of one of the world's most influential companies—as well as the regulators who have promised for years to rein in its allegedly monopolistic practices."

  • It's the "government's most significant challenge to the power of the e-commerce giant and one that could alter the way Americans shop online for everything from toilet paper to electronics," per the New York Times. The newspaper offers an example from the lawsuit, which alleges that Amazon "stopped merchants on its platform from offering lower prices elsewhere and forced them to ship products with its logistics service if they wanted to be offered as part of its Prime subscription bundle." The result was higher prices.
  • The Wall Street Journal cites another example: The FTC said "said sellers feel forced to use Amazon's services such as advertising to be successful on the platform. Between being paid for its logistics program, advertising and other services, 'Amazon now takes one of every $2 that a seller makes,'" said Khan.
(More Amazon.com stories.)

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