Amazon reportedly facing FTC antitrust investigation


It apparently hasn’t decided whether to file a complaint.


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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly exploring an antitrust suit against Amazon, although its future remains uncertain. The Wall Street Journal reported the news today, saying that the case could cover an “array” of Amazon business practices. But the agency reportedly hasn’t committed to the suit or heard dissenting arguments from key Amazon executives.

FTC head Lina Khan has leveled heavy criticism at Amazon over allegedly monopolistic business practices, including before joining the agency; she’s the author of an influential 2017 Yale Law Review article titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.” (Amazon unsuccessfully attempted to disqualify her from regulating the company based on her statements.) And over the past years, she and numerous lawmakers have taken aim at Amazon’s acquisitions and other moves including the company’s purchases of iRobot and MGM as well as its alleged use of internal sales data to copy and crush successful third-party sellers. Amazon later settled with third-party sellers in response to European Commission scrutiny.

The Journal says it’s not clear which aspects a suit might focus on. But if the FTC files a complaint, it would join other high-profile antitrust cases, like attempts to stop Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard and Meta’s acquisition of Within.

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