Company logo of the online giant: Accusation of monopoly position (symbolic image)
Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP
The U.S. competition authority has filed another lawsuit against online giant Amazon. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now targeting the US company's "marketplace business" and accusing it of a monopoly position.
The antitrust lawsuit filed by the FTC and 17 U.S. states was filed in federal court in Seattle, the agency in New York said. In it, Amazon is accused of excluding competitors from services in the online marketplace business and thus suppressing competition.
»Anti-competitive and unfair strategies«
The FTC, which is also responsible for consumer protection, accused Amazon of illegally preserving its monopoly power in online trading with "anti-competitive and unfair strategies". The agency accused the group of forcing merchants to use its own logistics and delivery services in exchange for prominent placement on the platform. In addition, Amazon punishes sellers who offer their goods cheaper on competing websites.
Amazon is a monopolist and uses its dominant position in such a way that buyers and sellers have to pay more for a worse service, FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a press conference. Sellers paid Amazon one U.S. dollar for every two dollars earned.
Amazon immediately denied the allegations – and accused the FTC of moving away from its mission to protect consumers and competition. The company will know how to defend itself in court, it said.
Internet giants in their sights
For years, the U.S. government and its agencies have been targeting Internet giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook, whose market power is causing great unease. As recently as June, the FTC sued Amazon over allegations of imposing the paid Prime subscription on customers. A mammoth trial is currently underway in Washington against Google over allegations of illegal monopoly on search engines.
The FTC chief Khan, appointed by President Joe Biden, has a reputation for being particularly tough on technology companies. However, it has already suffered several legal defeats, including in its attempt to prevent a takeover of video game developer Activision Blizzard by the software company Microsoft.