Amazon’s Own Executives Admit That Amazon Hurts Consumers and Inflates Prices, Updated FTC Complaint Reveals
Washington, D.C. — In response to a newly released version of the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint against Amazon, which makes public substantial previously-redacted information, the American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement.
“The latest details in the Amazon complaint exposes the company’s deliberate price inflation and harm to consumers,” says Krista Brown, Senior Policy Analyst at the American Economic Liberties Project. “Unsurprisingly, the complaint also confirms that Amazon flouted the FTC’s orders and destroyed years worth of internal communications. Despite these gaps of information, the FTC found concrete evidence that Amazon competes on anything but merit. In addition to open admissions of exploiting junk ads and other unfair tactics, Amazon stifled fair competition using multiple pricing algorithms to match and inflate prices across the web, the latter of which, called ‘Project Nessie,’ generated more than $1 billion in additional profit within two years. While there are still important details being kept from the public, this complaint paints a clear picture of monopoly abuse.”
As the FTC’s complaint originally revealed, Amazon has a market share of 82% when compared to other potential online superstores like eBay, Walmart and Target. This is just one of the many sectors of the economy Amazon dominates: Amazon is a retailer, a marketplace, a logistics service, a warehouse, a cloud service, a healthcare provider, a grocer, an investor, and much more. Amazon wields this monopoly power to suppress its rivals’ ability to compete on price and then force fees of around 50% onto sellers, which are then passed onto consumers. Because Amazon is so big, sellers will do almost anything to maintain their place on its marketplace, including not offering lower prices for their products anywhere else on the web.
The updated complaint today includes quotes, stats, and figures that Amazon had previously asked to redact. Among these include new quotes from executives and Amazon team members, including Jeff Bezos, that reveal how the company knowingly deployed unfair tactics to inflate prices and extract as much profit as possible from consumers and sellers with nowhere else to go.
For some quick facts on Amazon’s market power, read our fact sheet.
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The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.