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Report: FTC is Working on Potential Antitrust Lawsuit Against Amazon

Posted February 3, 2023 | Amazon | FTC | Windows

The US Federal Trade Commission could be preparing an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, the Wall Street Journal is reporting today. In recent years, the FTC under the leadership of chairwoman Lina Khan has adopted a stricter stance regarding the possible anticompetitive practices of big tech companies. Obviously, Amazon’s leadership position in the e-commerce and cloud computing market has made the company quite an easy target.

“The commission in recent years has been examining Amazon practices including whether it favors its own products over competitors’ on its platforms and how it treats outside sellers on, according to some of the people familiar with the matter. The FTC also has been scrutinizing the company’s Amazon Prime subscription service’s bundling practices, some of the people said,” the WSJ reported.

As pointed out by the WSJ, the FTC could still choose not to go forward with the antitrust lawsuit, and FTC commissioners reportedly didn’t meet with Amazon officials to hear their arguments against a possible lawsuit. However, the antitrust agency recently made some moves against other big tech companies including Microsoft and Facebook.

Back in 2020, the FTC sued Facebook for illegal monopolization of the social networking space after its purchase of WhatsApp and Instagram, and the case is still pending. Last fall, the FTC also filed a lawsuit to block Microsoft’s $68 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The US Department of Justice, which also has an Antitrust Division, recently sued Google over the company’s dominance in the ad technology space. The political climate in the US is definitely not favorable to Big Tech, but in the case of Amazon, the company also had to face multiple antitrust investigations in the European Union.

Back in December, Amazon reached a settlement with the EU in three different antitrust probes and committed not to use third-party sellers’ data to improve its retail business. The company also agreed not to use any information about the terms and performance of third-party carriers obtained through its Amazon Prime subscription to improve its own logistics services.

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