Amazon to Discuss Potential Antitrust Lawsuit with FTC
Amazon is set to discuss a potential antitrust lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) next week. Sources indicate that this meeting will serve as a final opportunity for Amazon to convince the FTC not to file a lawsuit against them concerning antimonopoly laws. The New York Times revealed that FTC’s head, Lina Khan, along with commissioners Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Alvaro Bedoya, will be in talks with Amazon’s representatives.
The FTC started its inquiry into Amazon in 2019, looking into allegations of the retailer using its dominance to undermine competition. The investigation was sparked by interactions with third-party sellers, inquiring about their earnings on Amazon versus other platforms like eBay and Walmart. In a separate revelation, Politico mentioned in July that this lawsuit might challenge several of Amazon’s business tactics, potentially leading to a mandated restructure of its massive $1.3 trillion operation. This is distinct from another lawsuit the FTC recently initiated against Amazon for allegedly misleading customers about Prime subscriptions.
Lina Khan, the FTC chair, has historically been a critic of Amazon. As a law student at Yale, she expressed the need for a fresh perspective on antitrust laws due to Amazon’s prevailing market control. Khan stressed the necessity of reevaluating the focus of US antitrust laws. Amazon has pushed for Khan to step back from the case, citing her past academic publications and statements on the matter.
The current Biden administration has voiced growing unease over the immense influence of tech giants. The Department of Justice has also taken legal action against other tech behemoths like Meta and Google, emphasizing a broader stance against unchecked corporate power.