© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

CT joins 16 other states and FTC in suing Amazon over monopoly allegations

Amazon workers sort packages inside Amazon fulfillment center BDL 4 in Windsor, May 2, 2023. The fulfillment center is Windsor’s fourth and employs more than 2,000 full and part-time hourly and salaried employees.
Mark Mirko
/
Connecticut Public
Amazon workers sort packages inside Amazon fulfillment center BDL 4 in Windsor, May 2, 2023. The fulfillment center is Windsor’s fourth and employs more than 2,000 full and part-time hourly and salaried employees.

Connecticut is among 17 states that joined the Federal Trade Commission Tuesday in filing an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon.

Amazon is being sued over allegations the company abuses its position in the marketplace to inflate prices on other platforms, overcharge sellers and stifle competition. State and federal officials say the online giant is illegally maintaining its monopoly.

Amazon’s market dominance isn’t a crime, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said.

“But what is illegal is for Amazon to use its dominance to punish and shut down its competitors, to kill competition and to eliminate choice for customers like all of us and our families,” Tong said Tuesday at a press conference.

Other Northeast states that joined the FTC lawsuit include Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

The complaint alleges Amazon engages in price control, replaces relevant search results with paid advertisements, and buries listings offered at lower prices on other sites.

Amazon has used a set of “punitive and coercive tactics” to maintain its monopolies, FTC Chair Lina M. Khan said.

“The complaint sets forth detailed allegations noting how Amazon is now exploiting its monopoly power to enrich itself while raising prices and degrading service for the tens of millions of American families who shop on its platform and the hundreds of thousands of businesses that rely on Amazon to reach them,” Khan said in a statement. Tuesday’s lawsuit “seeks to hold Amazon to account for these monopolistic practices and restore the lost promise of free and fair competition.”

In a statement, Amazon says the Federal Trade Commission is “wrong on the facts and the law” and that the agency has departed from its role of protecting consumers and competition.

"The practices the FTC is challenging have helped to spur competition and innovation across the retail industry, and have produced greater selection, lower prices, and faster delivery speeds for Amazon customers and greater opportunity for the many businesses that sell in Amazon’s store," David Zapolsky, Amazon's general counsel, said in a statement. "If the FTC gets its way, the result would be fewer products to choose from, higher prices, slower deliveries for consumers, and reduced options for small businesses — the opposite of what antitrust law is designed to do."

Connecticut Public's Patrick Skahill and The Associated Press contributed to this report.