It’s fair to say Amazon isn’t having a great year with US regulator the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It has been fined $25m for violating children’s privacy rules, then sued by the regulator over the signup process for Amazon Prime.
Now an even bigger shoe has dropped: the FTC is suing Amazon again for “illegally maintaining monopoly power”.
The FTC and 17 state attorneys general accused Amazon of an “ongoing pattern of illegal conduct blocks competition, allowing it to wield monopoly power to inflate prices, degrade quality, and stifle innovation for consumers and businesses”.
This is about shopping rather than the Amazon services Music Ally usually writes about: allegations of anti-discounting measures, costly fees and biased search results.
As is the way of these things, Amazon quickly responded with its own blog post pushing back on the claims.
It described the FTC’s action as “a misguided lawsuit against Amazon that would, if successful, force Amazon to engage in practices that actually harm consumers and the many businesses that sell in our store—such as having to feature higher prices, offer slower or less reliable Prime shipping, and make Prime more expensive and less convenient”.
The blog post sets out those arguments in detail.