United States: Amazon sued by 17 states and the competition authority for abuse of dominant position
After years of investigations, and tensions between the political powers and Amazon, the US competition authority (FTC or Federal Trade Commission) and 17 states filed a complaint Tuesday against the tech giant, accusing it of "illegally maintaining its monopoly" through "anti-competitive and unfair strategies".
The judicial vice is tightening on the American giant Amazon. REUTERS - PASCAL ROSSIGNOL
By: RFI Follow
With our correspondent in Washington, Guillaume Naudin
Amazon uses its clout in the e-commerce market to prevent companies from offering lower prices and to force them to pay it higher commissions. This is essentially the accusation brought in federal court in Seattle, where the headquarters of the behemoth is located. According to the commission, Jeff Bezos' group almost disappears from its platform sellers who would dare to offer prices elsewhere lower than those charged on its site. In addition, the giant would take advantage of its weight to force sellers to subscribe to its logistics services in theory optional but in practice almost unavoidable.
As a result, instead of a theoretical commission of 15%, sellers should give half of their earnings to Amazon. And consumers pay more for offers with little variety. One of Amazon's lawyers explains that if a trial were to take place and the commission ended up getting what it is asking for, it would be even worse. For him, society actually promotes innovation and competition.
Amazon is harnessing the power it derives from its monopoly to enrich itself, while driving up prices and degrading service for the tens of millions of American families who shop on its platform and the hundreds of thousands of businesses that depend on Amazon. ", to market their products, said FTC Chair Lina Khan, quoted in the statement.
For the president of the federal authority, it is almost a personal crusade. She has been denouncing Amazon's practices since she was a law student. She managed to convince Joe Biden who appointed her to the position. This has not prevented it from losing in recent months in lawsuits against other giants such as Meta or Microsoft.
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