DC Attorney General asks court to review Amazon’s antitrust case

DC Attorney General Karl Racine has submit a petition (PDF) ask the court to review its decision on dismissed his antitrust lawsuit filed against Amazon in 2021. In the original lawsuit, Racine accused the e-commerce giant of “illegally abusing and maintaining its monopoly power by controlling prices in the online retail marketplace.” Third-party sellers using Amazon’s Marketplace are subject to the company’s agreements, including Reasonable price policy. If they sell their goods at a lower price elsewhere, Amazon may clear their purchase box, suspend their shipping preferences, and even terminate their selling privileges for “schools.” severe or recurrent cases”.

The company stop told sellers in 2019 amid antitrust scrutiny that they could not sell their products cheaper elsewhere. However, the company later added back a clause in its policy of almost identical fair pricing. Racine argued that because sellers price their goods in line with Amazon’s cut, the policy artificially inflates prices even on the seller’s own website and on competing e-commerce platforms. .

Amazon told us when Racine first filed the lawsuit that the Attorney General handled it “totally backwards.” “Amazon prides itself on the fact that we offer the lowest prices in the widest selection, and like any store, we reserve the right not to highlight offers for customers who don’t have a The mitigation sought by AG would force Amazon to charge higher prices to customers, which goes against the core goals of antitrust law.” Columbia sided with Amazon and dismissed Racine’s complaint in March.

Now, DC AG wants another chance to prove that Amazon violated antitrust laws. His office’s revised complaint includes additional details about how the company’s policy violates the DC code, mainly focusing on how it “causes County residents’ prices to be higher than normal.” and how it prevents sellers from competing with Amazon’s own products.

Racine said in a statement about the offer he submitted:

“We are asking the court to reconsider our dismissal of the Amazon case because the antitrust law and the truth are on our side, and we are determined to continue to protect DC consumers. Amazon uses illegally use its market power to prevent sellers from lowering prices on other platforms – including their own. This results in higher prices for DC consumers.”

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