Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan testifies earlier than a House Judiciary Committee listening to on “Oversight of the Federal Trade Commission,” on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 13, 2023.
Kevin Wurm | Reuters
In Lina Khan’s two years helming the Federal Trade Commission, her identify has been most related to one firm: Amazon.
So far, that is largely been due to her viral Yale Law Journal article from 2017, titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.” The paper made waves within the antitrust neighborhood as a result of it argued that the trendy software of antitrust legal guidelines has did not seize the methods tech giants like Amazon are in a position to dominate in a digital world.
The article made Khan’s identify ubiquitous in antitrust circles and helped launch her on a path to turning into the youngest-ever FTC chair. Once sworn into the position, Amazon pressed for Khan to be recused from its antitrust investigations, pointing to her previous criticism of its enterprise. The same try by Meta was rejected by a choose in a separate case.
While the FTC has taken swings at main tech corporations beneath Khan — like by means of its problem to Meta’s proposed acquisition of Within Unlimited, a digital actuality health app maker, and a shopper safety go well with towards Amazon’s Prime service — those that observe the company have lengthy anticipated a go well with difficult Amazon’s alleged monopoly energy.
That lawsuit is now anticipated to return as quickly as this month, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported this week.
A problem to Amazon’s alleged monopoly may finally lead to a breakup of the greater than trillion-dollar enterprise, ought to the FTC file the lawsuit and win in courtroom.
On Aug. 15, the FTC held a so-called final rites assembly with Amazon, a supply conversant in the matter, who was not licensed to talk publicly on the personal discussions, confirmed to CNBC. Such conferences are sometimes a final step earlier than commissioners vote on whether or not to file a lawsuit, giving an organization the possibility to voice its aspect.
In this case, nonetheless, a settlement and acceptable treatments weren’t mentioned, the supply stated, confirming reporting by the Journal and Bloomberg.
The go well with will doubtless goal key parts of Amazon’s retail market enterprise, together with Fulfillment by Amazon, its logistics program, in addition to pricing by third-party sellers on its web site, in accordance with the Journal, citing unnamed sources. Even earlier than Khan joined the company, FTC workers had begun interviewing Amazon sellers to find out about whether or not it used its dominance to harm competitors, Bloomberg reported in 2019.
The FTC declined to touch upon the studies. Amazon earlier declined to touch upon the Journal story.
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