On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission and 17 states of U.S. sued Amazon, starting a long awaited antitrust fight with the e-commerce giant that could really alter the way American shop online.
In the 172 page lawsuit, the federal government accused the tech giant of protecting its status of monopoly over swaths of online retail by squeezing the merchants and favouring its own services.
In other words, Amazon blocked its sellers to sell their products on other e-commerce websites, which would mean “artificially higher prices” for the consumers. The lawsuit added that the retailer’s tactics, such as boosting its own products and peppering its search results with ads, made it impossible for its rivals to compete.
The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. district court for the Western District of Washington stated, “It exploits its monopolies in ways that enrich Amazon but harm its customers: both the tens of millions of American households who regularly shop on Amazon’s online superstore and the hundreds of thousands of businesses who rely on Amazon to reach them.”
Amazon, which has denied the accusations, has become the third latest tech company to invite an antitrust lawsuit. Earlier, the justice department had filed a case against Google for its increasing power in online search. The FTC has also filed an antitrust lawsuit against Meta, which owns WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. The members of the Congress has considered a legislation to regulate some of the companies’ most common business activities.