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FTC and 17 states sue Amazon for 'monopoly'

Ting https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/QsaFDU3RBAQGY7uUHaeZMg 2023-09-28 10:43:40

The Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against Amazon on Tuesday, accusing the e-commerce giant of using its monopoly power to "raise prices, reduce quality and stifle innovation for consumers and businesses," the Associated Press (AP) reported. ".

The 172-page complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, accuses Amazon of engaging in exclusionary practices that prevent the growth of existing competitors and the emergence of new ones. "

The Federal Trade Commission filed the lawsuit after a four-year investigation into the Seattle-based company, saying it was not Amazon's size that violated the law but the company's alleged "anticompetitive conduct."

"Our complaint lays out how Amazon uses a range of punitive and coercive tactics to unlawfully maintain its monopoly," the FTC chairman said in a statement on Tuesday.

Another issue outlined in the FTC lawsuit alleges that Amazon engages in anti-discounting practices and "algorithmically penalizes sellers" if it discovers they are offering lower prices elsewhere.

“Amazon can hide discount sellers from Amazon’s search results, making them effectively invisible,” the FTC said.

In a statement, Amazon denied the allegations outlined in the FTC lawsuit.

"Today's lawsuit makes clear that the FTC's focus has fundamentally shifted away from its mission to protect consumers and competition," David Zapolsky, Amazon's senior vice president of global public policy and general counsel, said in a statement.

“The FTC’s challenging practices help spur competition and innovation across the retail industry and bring more selection, lower prices and faster delivery to Amazon customers and to many who sell in Amazon stores businesses provide more opportunities.”

“If the FTC gets its way, the result will be fewer products to choose from, higher prices, slower shipping for consumers, and fewer choices for small businesses—the opposite of the original intent of the antitrust laws. The FTC filed today 's lawsuit is factually and legally wrong, and we look forward to hearing this case in court."

Amazon says there are about 500,000 independent businesses selling on its platform in the United States, creating 1.5 million jobs. Since Amazon opened its business model to include third-party sellers nearly 20 years ago, more than 60% of the company's sales have come from independent sellers, the majority of which are small and medium-sized businesses.