May 21, 2022


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Amazon’s antitrust case brought by the capital’s court

Inside an Amazon Prime Now warehouse in Manhattan in 2015.

Inside an Amazon Prime Now warehouse in Manhattan in 2015.

Ben Fox Robin/CNET

A court has struck down an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon that targeted an e-seller’s ability to penalize third-party sellers on its platform for charging lower prices on their websites.

the suit, Presented last May Written by D.C. Attorney General Carl Racine, on behalf of the District of Columbia, Amazon has alleged too much control over how much third-party sellers can charge for their products, driving up prices and hurting consumers.

On Friday, though, a D.C. Supreme Court judge granted Amazon’s request to fire the Wall Street Journal. mentioned. Court records did not give a reason for the dismissal, according to The New York Times, but 360 . Law He said The court found a lack of evidence that Amazon’s policies lead to higher prices.

Racine’s office opposed the dismissal and said it was considering his legal options.

“We believe the Supreme Court erred on this matter,” Racine’s office said in a statement to the media. “Its oral judgment does not appear to take into account the detailed allegations in the complaint, the full scope of the anticompetitive agreements, the comprehensive briefing and the recent decision of a federal court to allow an almost identical lawsuit to proceed.”

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

In 2019, the online retailer ditched a contract clause that explicitly prohibits third-party sellers from charging lower prices outside of Amazon. The lawsuit claimed, however, that a similar provision kept the restrictions in place. Third-party sellers whose products can be found at a lower price outside of Amazon may lose the “buy box” button in their listings, allowing customers to purchase items with a single click, according to company they can also Check out their selling privileges.

“Like any store, we reserve the right not to highlight offers to customers that are not competitively priced,” an Amazon spokesperson said when filing the lawsuit. “The exemption AG is seeking would force Amazon to offer customers higher prices, in strange contravention of the core objectives of antitrust law.”

However, Racine argued that third-party sellers who raised their prices on Amazon to make up for the e-retailer’s cut would have to raise prices elsewhere or risk Amazon stripping their franchises.

CNET’s Laura Ottala contributed to this report.

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