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Additional State AGs Join Amazon Antitrust Probe

Additional State AGs Join Amazon Antitrust Probe

May 27, 2021 at 07:47PM
by PYMNTS

The attorneys general from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts have joined a list of officials investigating Amazon for antitrust violations, Bloomberg reported Thursday (May 27), citing sources.

The list already includes California, New York, Washington state and the Federal Trade Commission, meaning “that the eCommerce giant will be fighting a multifront legal war in the months ahead,” per the news outlet.

Sources told Bloomberg that prosecutors in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are speaking with their counterparts in New York and California on how to divide the workload, while the AG in Washington — Amazon’s homebase — has collaborated with California.

“The ultimate aim is to build a viable antitrust case against the world’s largest online retailer, said one of the people, who requested anonymity because the probes aren’t public,” Bloomberg reported, adding that Connecticut’s attorney general has also started looking into the business practices of Amazon.

The case stems from the accusation that Amazon uses its market power to overpower its rivals and compete against third-party merchants who pay to sell on its platform, along with other alleged anti-competitive practices.

Attorneys general in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania declined to comment for the Bloomberg story, while an Amazon spokesman simply pointed to a previous statement, saying “the presumption that success can only be the result of anti-competitive behavior is simply wrong.”

The news comes two days after the attorney general of Washington, D.C. filed a lawsuit against Amazon accusing the company of anti-competitive practices.

“Amazon has used its dominant position in the online retail market to win at all costs. It maximizes its profits at the expense of third-party sellers and consumers, while harming competition, stifling innovation, and illegally tilting the playing field in its favor,” Attorney General Karl Racine said in a news release.

“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.”