Nevada among states joining FTC in anti-trust suit against Amazon
Nevada joined 16 states and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging that the online retail and tech company is a monopoly that maintained its influence through anticompetitive and unfair practices.
“Amazon is a mammoth corporation and like most of my constituents, I am also an Amazon customer. There is nothing inherently wrong with being a large company, but it is wrong to use your size and dominance to quash both current and potential competitors,” said Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford in a statement.
The FTC and the states allege that Amazon’s anticompetitive behavior occurs in two areas — the online storefront for shoppers and the online marketplace service for sellers.
“Seldom in the history of U.S. antitrust law has one case had the potential to do so much good for so many people,” said John Newman, the deputy director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, in a statement.
The complaint charges Amazon prevented rivals and sellers from lowering their prices on their website, overcharged sellers, degraded quality for shoppers, and prevented rivals from fairly competing against Amazon.
The complaint further details that the search results were biased towards the company’s own products over competitors that are better quality, burying those product’s results in paid advertisement and junk ads.
The FTC and the states also allege that the online company subjects fees to sellers that have no other alternative but to rely on Amazon to stay in business, and subjects those sellers to fees that are almost 50% of their total revenue from Amazon, costs that sellers must try to pass on to customers.
The FTC voted 3-0 to file action for a permanent injunction Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
The other states that joined in the suite are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.
Amazon countered the claims, with David Zapolsky, the company’s senior vice president for global public policy and general counsel, saying “Today’s suit makes clear the FTC’s focus has radically departed from its mission of protecting consumers and competition.”