Washington Attorney General Sues Amazon Over Antitrust Law Violation

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Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine is suing Amazon for violation of US antitrust law. According to Racine, the American company abuses its monopoly position and is responsible for the artificially high prices in online stores.

By controlling and upholding the prices of products on US online marketplaces, the company violated Washington DC law, according to the attorney general. “Amazon’s policies prevented competition, including online merchants, from competing on price. This way it was not possible to gain market share and that also resulted in slowing down innovation,” said the man.

According to Racine, merchants who sold their goods through Amazon’s online store were also obliged via a clause to offer the same products cheaper elsewhere, including not on their own website. According to the attorney general, the company charged high commissions that ensured that prices on other online webshops in general remained artificially high, causing consumers to pay more.

Since 2019, Amazon has stopped the mandatory price agreements it made with American merchants. But according to Racine Amazon secretly introduced new measures whereby merchants could still be removed from the platform if they offered their products cheaper elsewhere.

In 2017, the company stopped similar price-fixing for books in Europe after the European Commission opened an investigation into alleged abuse of power by the American company. The company has not yet responded to the US Attorney General’s complaint.

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