Amazon asks court to dismiss FTC lawsuit that accuses it of ‘monopolistic practices’

The FTC and 17 state attorneys general filed the antitrust complaint against Amazon in September.

Mike Segar / reuters

Amazon filed a motion on Friday in the Western Washington district court asking a judge to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) antitrust lawsuit against it. The FTC along with 17 state attorneys general sued Amazon in September, alleging the company uses monopolistic practices that are unfair to both its competitors and consumers. Amazon is now arguing that the FTC did not provide evidence that its practices have driven up prices or harmed consumers, according to Bloomberg.

The FTC’s lawsuit claims Amazon uses illegal tactics to crush its competition — like punishing sellers who list their products for better prices elsewhere by burying them in search results, and coercing sellers into using Amazon’s own fulfillment service by tying it to Prime eligibility. It also accuses Amazon of inflating prices from 2016-2018 using an algorithmic tool codenamed Project Nessie. These increases added up to more than $1 billion, according to the suit.

In Amazon’s motion for dismissal, per AP, Amazon said it’s only engaging in “common retail practices” that “benefit consumers and are the essence of competition.” Amazon attorney Heidi Hubbard wrote that the suit “implausibly, and illogically, assumes that Amazon’s efforts to keep featured prices low on Amazon somehow raised consumer prices across the whole economy,” according to Bloomberg.