FTC To Launch Antitrust Lawsuit Against Amazon
The US government is currently preparing for a major dispute with the retail group Amazon. In three major investigations by the trade authority FTC, decisions are pending that will probably result in extensive court proceedings.
The FTC has been investigating this on multiple fronts since 2019. It is about the suspicion of abuse of power in the online marketplace and possible violations of consumer protection by the ring cameras and the digital assistant Alexa. Antitrust lawsuits are already pending against Amazon in several states, but at the federal level, such a dispute would have even greater significance.
It had actually been clear for a long time that the company was in for trouble. Because the FTC has been under the leadership of Lina Khan for some time, who is known to be extremely critical of big tech companies. As early as 2017, in a legal paper, she came to the conclusion that Amazon is a modern monopolist that must be put in its place by the state.
Carefully selected cases
US magazine Politico has spoken to a number of sources at the FTC to get a picture of what to expect here in the near future. Accordingly, an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon’s retail business will be a central element of the agency’s overall strategy. The main issue here is the bundling of various services in the Prime subscription and the accusation that Amazon uses sales statistics from third-party providers on its platform to give its own brands a competitive advantage.
However, an intervention by the FTC against the takeover of the vacuum cleaner robot manufacturer iRobot is also to be expected. Furthermore, there will likely be penalties for various privacy violations at Ring and Alexa.
The standstill so far shows how difficult it is for the authority to take action against a company as complex as Amazon. There are signs that the FTC is choosing its cases carefully, according to some of those familiar with the agency’s strategy. The FTC recently sued Amazon, accusing the company of unlawfully withholding tips from its delivery drivers. The company settled the case out of court and paid almost $60 million to compensate the drivers.
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