It was only a matter of time. The FTC has officially started legal action against Amazon, labeling the massive online retailer a monopoly.
The Federal Trade Commission is not the only one attempting to take Amazon to task. Seventeen state attorneys general joined in to sue the company.
Jeff Bezos’s business is accused of taking actions that “allow it to stop rivals and sellers from lowering prices, degrade quality for shoppers, overcharge sellers, stifle innovation, and prevent rivals from fairly competing against Amazon.”
The complaint attempts to make the case that the online retail space was once the great wide open “bursting with possibility.” This was true … until the Dot Com bubble popped. However, what does Amazon do in its day-to-day business that makes it more of a monopoly than other companies operating in this space?
The FTC alleges several violations. There are around forty points, but some of the more damning ones include:
- Drastically rising fees are charged to sellers. Thus limiting profitability potential for the sellers because the smaller businesses have nowhere else to go.
- Anti-discounting tactics are being used to limit the competitiveness of rival retailers.
- It forces sellers into exclusivity deals, which keeps them from selling goods elsewhere.
- The lawsuit also alleges that Amazon’s mysterious Project Nessie has “already extracted over [REDACTED] from American Households.
What the hell is Project Nessie?! Last I heard, it was a tool for tracking customer trends on Amazon’s website, but this sounds a bit more ominous.
In the complaint outlining Amazon’s various salacious actions, multiple heavily redacted sections may be related to Project Nessie:
It will be interesting to see what becomes of this.
So, who all are taking a stand against Amazon? Here’s the list of the state attorneys general acting as plaintiffs:
- STATE OF NEW YORK
- STATE OF CONNECTICUT
- COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
- STATE OF DELAWARE
- STATE OF MAINE
- STATE OF MARYLAND
- COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
- STATE OF MICHIGAN
- STATE OF MINNESOTA
- STATE OF NEVADA
- STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
- STATE OF NEW JERSEY
- STATE OF NEW MEXICO
- STATE OF OKLAHOMA
- STATE OF OREGON
- STATE OF RHODE ISLAND
- STATE OF WISCONSIN
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