The Attorney General of the District of Columbia in Washington sued Amazon on Tuesday for allegedly impeding free competition and thereby harming consumers, who end up paying higher prices.
“Amazon’s policies have prevented competing platforms, including those of the sellers themselves, from lowering prices and thus gaining market share,” DC Attorney General Karl Racine said at a press conference.
Racine referred to the requirement that Amazon sets for companies that want to sell on its portal, according to which they cannot offer the same products on other websites at a lower price.
For the DC attorney general, this rule violates the laws of free competition and is ultimately detrimental both for customers (who in a competitive scenario could benefit from lower prices) and for society in general, since less competition leads to less innovation.
The complaint was filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, a special jurisdiction that houses the capital but does not have state status.
For its part, the company headed by Jeff Bezos responded with a statement in which it assured that “like any other store”, it reserves the right not to present offers to consumers “that are not competitively priced.”
The big U.S. technology firms are being targeted by regulators for alleged monopolistic practices and, in addition to Amazon, both Google and Facebook already have several court cases open against them for not respecting free competition.