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Tags: anti trust | amazon | lawsuit | dc | attorney general

DC AG Files Anti-Trust Lawsuit Against Amazon

karl racine speaks into mic in front of supreme court
Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine speaks after a news conference in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Sep. 9, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 May 2021 01:56 PM

Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine has announced an anti-trust lawsuit Tuesday against Amazon for illegally requiring third-party sellers to give Amazon customers the same or better prices than the products are offered elsewhere.

AG Racine tweeted a statement announcing the lawsuit:

"BREAKING: Today my office filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon for illegally abusing and maintaining its monopoly power by controlling prices across the online retail market and violating DC law."

"For years, Amazon has controlled online retail prices through its restrictive contract provisions & policies. Amazon requires third-party sellers to agree that they won't offer their products anywhere else online – including their own websites – for a lower price than on Amazon.

"These agreements also impose an artificially high price floor across the online retail marketplace & ensure high fees charged to third-party sellers by Amazon, as much as 40% of the product price, are incorporated into the price on not only Amazon but also on competing platforms.

"Amazon has used its dominant position in the online retail market to win at all costs. It maximizes its profits at the expense of 3rd party sellers & consumers forced to pay artificially high prices, while harming competition & innovation & illegally tilting the playing field.

"Amazon claimed it removed its price parity restrictions in 2019. But in fact, it quietly replaced the provision w/ an effectively-identical substitute that says third-party sellers can be sanctioned or removed from Amazon if they offer their products for lower prices elsewhere.

"We filed this antitrust lawsuit to put an end to Amazon's illegal control of prices across the online retail market. We need a fair online marketplace that expands options available to District residents and promotes competition, innovation, and choice."

The lawsuit comes amid numerous conservatives pushing for regulation of monopoly power throughout Big Tech, including the censorship of conservative voices.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post and the company did not return the paper's request for comment on the anti-trust lawsuit.

Amazon notably removed a "price parity provision" from its business solutions agreement in March 2019 amid anti-trust scrutiny, CNBC reported.

As of now, Racine told reporters on a call Tuesday, his office will take up the lawsuit on its own, but he did not rule out other state AGs or others to join later, according to CNBC.

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StreetTalk
Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine has announced an anti-trust lawsuit Tuesday against Amazon for illegally requiring third-party sellers to give Amazon customers the same or better prices than the products are offered elsewhere...
anti trust, amazon, lawsuit, dc, attorney general
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2021-56-25
Tuesday, 25 May 2021 01:56 PM
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