DC attorney general files antitrust lawsuit against Amazon

Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine (D) filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon Tuesday, alleging that the e-commerce giant has unfairly raised prices and hurt innovation.

The lawsuit filed in D.C. Superior Court claims that Amazon has engaged in anti-competitive business practices including not allowing third-party sellers to offer their products at lower prices elsewhere and imposing excessive fees.

The suit alleges that those practices pass on fees to consumers in the form of higher prices, prevent other platforms from competing and take away choices from consumers.

“Amazon has used its dominant position in the online retail market to win at all costs,” Racine said in a statement. “It maximizes its profits at the expense of third-party sellers and consumers, while harming competition, stifling innovation, and illegally tilting the playing field in its favor.”

Amazon claimed in 2019 to end the pricing policy that barred retailers from selling their products at a lower price or on better terms. However, according to the lawsuit, the company quickly replaced it with another policy that allows the platform to sanction or remove sellers that partake in this activity.