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Amazon files motion to dismiss FTC antitrust case

2023-12-11 14:15 by
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Amazon asked a federal court on Friday to dismiss a U.S. government antitrust lawsuit which accuses the company of using illegal strategies to boost profits at its online retail empire, including an algorithm that allegedly pushed up prices by more than $1 billion.

In its motion to dismiss, Amazon said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, in a lawsuit filed in September, confused "common retail practices" with anticompetitive conduct and failed to identify harm to consumers.

The FTC's lawsuit claims Amazon uses illegal tactics to crush its competition - like punishing sellers who list their products for better prices elsewhere by burying them in search results, and coercing sellers into using Amazon's own fulfillment service by tying it to Prime eligibility. It also accuses Amazon of inflating prices from 2016-2018 using an algorithmic tool codenamed Project Nessie. These increases added up to more than $1 billion, according to the suit.

"Amazon promptly matches rivals' discounts, features competitively priced deals rather than overpriced ones, and ensures best-in-class delivery for its Prime subscribers," the company wrote in the filing. "Those practices - the targets of this antitrust Complaint - benefit consumers and are the essence of competition."

Amazon also disputed the allegations that it conditions Prime eligibility on the use of its fulfillment service.However, it noted that even if it were true, "such seller recommendations-made to protect trust in a retailer's brand and to deliver products to consumers with unprecedented speed, service, and reliability-are presumptively procompetitive."

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