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Court to consider Amazon’s motion to dismiss FTC antitrust lawsuit

Mike Segar / reuters

On Friday, Amazon filed a motion in the Western Washington district court seeking the dismissal of the antitrust lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC, along with 17 state attorneys general, had sued Amazon in September, alleging unfair monopolistic practices detrimental to both competitors and consumers. Amazon’s argument centers around the absence of evidence from the FTC demonstrating that its practices have resulted in increased prices or harm to consumers, as reported by Bloomberg.

The FTC’s lawsuit asserts that Amazon employs illicit tactics to stifle competition, such as penalizing sellers who offer better prices elsewhere by relegating them in search results. Additionally, it claims Amazon coerces sellers into using its fulfillment service by linking it to Prime eligibility. The suit also accuses Amazon of inflating prices from 2016 to 2018 through an algorithmic tool called Project Nessie, totaling over $1 billion.

In its motion for dismissal, Amazon contends that it is merely involved in “common retail practices” that “benefit consumers and are the essence of competition.” Amazon’s attorney, Heidi Hubbard, stated that the lawsuit “implausibly, and illogically, assumes that Amazon’s efforts to keep featured prices low on Amazon somehow raised consumer prices across the whole economy,” according to Bloomberg.

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