Attorney General of the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging that the retailer has raised prices unfairly.
Attorney General Karl Racine of Washington, D.C., filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon on Tuesday, arguing that the store increases costs for customers unfairly.
The complaint alleges that Amazon has unfairly retained monopoly control by banning third-party retailers from selling their goods for cheaper rates on other competitive retail outlets, resulting in “an excessively high price floor across the online retail marketplace,” according to Racine.
These contract clauses, according to the attorney general, not only minimize competition among third-party sellers, but also limit creativity among vendors and limit customer preference.
In a statement announcing the complaint, Racine said, “Amazon has used its dominant position in the online shopping industry to win at all costs.” “It maximizes profits at the expense of third-party retailers and investors, stifling creativity and unlawfully tilting the playing field in its favor.”
Racine is requesting an end to the price agreements, as well as restitution and fines to discourage similar behavior in the future.
The legal action could alter how Amazon deals with the platform’s more than 2 million third-party vendors, who now account for more than half of the company’s overall revenues.
The case comes after the same selling deals were recently scrutinized by the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, which accused Amazon of abusing its market dominance to force sellers to agree to pricing contracts.
Following Senate criticism, Amazon announced in 2019 that it will end these agreements, also known as “most favored country” (MFN) clauses. However, according to Racine’s complaint, these clauses were soon replaced by a “fair pricing policy,” which permitted Amazon to “impose penalties” on sellers.
Other states have banded together to file similar antitrust litigation against corporations like Facebook and Google, prompting consumer advocates to call for the Biden administration to bring federal charges against Amazon.
Racine’s office is bringing this suit against Amazon alone, unlike other coalition actions that have needed cooperation among many federal regulators.
On a call with reporters on Tuesday, the attorney general said he believes MFN agreements are a small enough issue for his office to handle on its own.
Racine’s arguments have been refuted by Amazon, as stated in a. This is a condensed version of the information.