The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 17 states sued Amazon on Tuesday for anticompetitive conduct that, they claim, has helped it maintain its “monopoly power” in the online superstore market and the online marketplace services market. The federal and state governments are asking that the US District Court for the Western District of Washington stop Amazon from engaging in these allegedly anticompetitive behaviors and restructure their business to avoid such behavior in the future.
The complaint alleges that Amazon has maintained its monopoly power through a course of anticompetitive and exclusionary conduct in violation of federal and state law. These activities include anti-discounting practices and coercing online sellers who want to be “Prime eligible” into using “Fulfillment by Amazon.” According to the complaint, Amazon makes Prime—a premium delivery service offered by Amazon—eligibility “critical” for sellers to reach its enormous base of shoppers. The complaint asserts that these practices violate the