The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and prosecutors from 17 states in the United States have filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging that the company engages in anticompetitive practices in its marketplace and employs various strategies to maintain this unfairness. For instance, Amazon prohibits sellers from offering products at lower prices on other platforms, under the threat of consequences. Additionally, Amazon forces sellers to use its services, such as advertising and shipping, which are priced high, and penalizes those who don’t comply.
Prior to this, there have been reports indicating that the FTC has been preparing to sue Amazon for several years, with the aim of compelling the company to restructure its business practices and mitigate the aforementioned unfairness.
In response, Amazon has stated that the FTC’s allegations do not benefit consumers and would result in higher product prices. The company also argues that many of the strategies mentioned by the FTC are common in the retail industry, as no store would willingly offer expensive products if there were cheaper alternatives.
Regarding the issue of using its own delivery services, Amazon argues that it invests in logistics to help sellers operate efficiently and manage their products at a lower cost. This, in turn, enables sellers to price their products more competitively. However, Amazon clarifies that sellers are free to choose alternative channels as well, just like in the case of advertising, where sellers can opt for platforms other than Amazon.
TLDR: The FTC and 17 state prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against Amazon, accusing the company of engaging in anticompetitive practices in its marketplace. Amazon allegedly restricts sellers from offering lower prices elsewhere and forces them to use its expensive services. Amazon denies the allegations, arguing that they would result in higher product prices. The company highlights that the mentioned strategies are common in the retail industry and that sellers have the option to use alternative channels.