U.S. Accuses Amazon of Illegally Sustaining Monopoly

Amazon, the e-commerce titan valued at $1.3 trillion, is facing a landmark lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 17 U.S. states, charging it with “illegal conduct” aimed at maintaining a monopoly in the online retail space.

The lawsuit represents a pivotal development in the ongoing scrutiny and regulatory battles between the government and Big Tech corporations.

Allegations Against Amazon
According to the lawsuit, Amazon is accused of employing unlawful practices on its online platform to suppress competition, The New York Times is reporting.

The company allegedly restricted merchants on its platform from presenting lower prices on other sites and compelled them to utilize its logistics service to qualify their products for its Prime subscription bundle.

Authorities argue that such practices have resulted in elevated prices and have degraded the shopping experience for consumers.

FTC Chair Lina Khan commented, “Today’s lawsuit seeks to hold Amazon to account for these monopolistic practices and restore the lost promise of free and fair competition.”

Consequences for Online Retail
This case puts the colossal influence of Amazon under intense scrutiny and may potentially reshape how Americans conduct their online shopping, affecting a spectrum of products from daily essentials to electronics.

Amazon’s dominant position has significantly impacted merchants globally, established the working conditions for over a million warehouse employees, and instigated Sunday deliveries by the U.S. Postal Service.

Amazon’s Reach and Growth
Originating as an online bookstore in 1994, founded by Jeff Bezos, Amazon has since evolved into a vast conglomerate with ventures in retail, entertainment, and internet infrastructure.

Despite ongoing investigations and regulatory scrutiny, Amazon has continued its expansion, acquiring companies like One Medical, iRobot, and Metro-Goldwyn Mayer in the last three years, The Times explains.

These acquisitions contribute to Amazon’s extensive portfolio that includes online retail, cloud computing services, and a streaming service rivaling Netflix.

Lina Khan and Modern Antitrust Laws
This lawsuit signifies a long-anticipated clash between Amazon and Lina Khan, who gained recognition in 2017 with her influential paper as a Yale law student.

She proposed that prevailing American antitrust laws were ineffectual in curtailing Amazon’s growing control over customers, rivals, and vendors.

Her work sparked a widespread discussion about the need for updating U.S. antitrust laws to better regulate the burgeoning power of tech giants.