A lawsuit by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission against Amazon.com (AMZN.O), expected to be filed as soon as this week, adds to a slew of legal challenges exposing the retail giant to billions of dollars in potential damages.
U.S. regulators have been probing Amazon.com and other Big Tech companies for antitrust violations and the FTC has long been expected to take formal action against the online retailer.
U.S. state and federal courts are grappling with cases relating to competition law that focus on Amazon’s pricing practices, fulfillment centers and the company’s relationships with major book sellers.
Here is a look at some of those cases.
CALIFORNIA, WASHINGTON D.C. ATTORNEYS GENERAL
California and District of Columbia attorneys general have sued Amazon.com over its product pricing policies, accusing it of unfairly barring merchants from offering lower prices on their own websites or at rivals such as Walmart (WMT.N), Target (TGT.N) and Costco (COST.O).
Washington, D.C.’s attorney general sued in May 2021, and California Attorney General Rob Bonta sued Amazon in September 2022. Last year, a District of Columbia superior court judge dismissed the district’s case, saying the city had not rebutted the contention that Amazon’s “prices are the result of lawful, unchoreographed free-market behavior.” The District’s appeal is pending.
In the California case, Judge Ethan Schulman in San Francisco Superior Court in March ruled against Amazon’s bid to dismiss the lawsuit. Schulman said California had shown as a threshold matter that Amazon’s policies “have had the anticompetitive effect of raising prices on competing retail marketplaces as well as on third-party sellers’ own websites.”
CONSUMERS’ PRICE INFLATION CLAIMS
Amazon faces a pair of consumer lawsuits in Seattle federal court. One accuses the retailer of artificially inflating prices on its platform, and the other alleges Amazon’s policies have pushed up the prices of goods sold elsewhere.
Source : Reuters