F.T.C., 17 states sue Amazon alleging monopolistic practices


Source: Cat Zakrzewski & Will Oremus, Washington Post

The FTC alleges that Amazon engages in illegal behavior in both its online shopping marketplace and in the many services it offers to third-party sellers, allowing the company to extract “monopoly rents from everyone within its reach," according to a news release about the suit. This means Amazon can boost its own products in search results over others that are better quality, and charge costly fees to sellers that rely on the tech giant to stay in business.

FTC Commissioner Khan argued in her influential law review paper that Amazon harms competition not by jacking up prices for consumers, but by driving out competitors with “predatory pricing” and unfairly squeezing the many smaller businesses that rely on its platform to reach their customers.

Amazon's senior vice president of global public policy and general counsel, said “If the FTC gets its way, the result would be fewer products to choose from, higher prices, slower deliveries for consumers, and reduced options for small businesses—the opposite of what antitrust law is designed to do.”

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