October 6, 2022


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Amazon has accused the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) of harassing its senior management, mirroring a...

Amazon has accused the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) of harassing its senior management, mirroring a similar claim earlier this year from Elon Musk against the SEC.

The e-commerce big accused the FTC of harassing Amazon founder and govt chairman Jeff Bezos, and CEO Andy Jassy, by asking them to testify in its investigation of the corporate’s Prime subscription service.

Information of the FTC probe of Amazon Prime was revealed in a filing dated 5 August, that has solely lately been made public.

Probe or harassment?

Amazon in its submitting accused FTC employees of taking “uncommon and perplexing” measures in its investigation.

It additionally alleged that “unexplained stress” has been positioned on FTC employees to “full the investigation unexpectedly, by an arbitrarily chosen deadline.”

And Amazon blamed FTC employees behaviour that “has exacerbated the breakdown on this investigation, with the newest incident being essentially the most egregious.”

Amazon alleged that FTC employees tried to limit, opposite to regulation and FTC observe, counsel’s means to collectively symbolize Amazon and the person Civil Investigative Demand (CID) recipients.

FTC employees even reportedly demanded that counsel depart a listening to for the primary particular person witness “for failing to abide by this improper restriction.”

Amazon mentioned that for greater than a yr it had “labored diligently and cooperatively” with FTC employees to supply related data of the company’s probe of Amazon Prime sign-up and cancellation processes.

The FTC probe apparently started in March 2021.

Business Insider earlier this yr reported that since at the least 2017 there was inner concern at Amazon that the person design on Amazon.com had led prospects to really feel manipulated into signing up for Prime”.

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However the e-commerce big reportedly didn’t implement adjustments over concern the adjustments would negatively affect subscription progress.

An Amazon spokesperson on the time informed Insider that Prime’s cancellation and sign-up course of had been easy and clear.

Employees allegations

And Amazon additionally complained in its submitting that after serving to the FTC by supplying it with data, FTC “employees inexplicably disengaged,”.

Amazon mentioned that for six months there was radio silence from the FTC, after which in April its employees allegedly informed Amazon {that a} new legal professional would take over the probe, and he or she was below “large stress” to conclude the investigation earlier than the autumn (Autumn).

Amazon mentioned this was the primary it heard of such a deadline and it quickly obtained a brand new CID in June that “accelerated” and “expanded” the scope of the investigation to “at the least 5 extra non-Prime subscription packages.”

The FTC sought data on Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Limitless and Subscribe & Save, and added almost 20 particular person CIDs – that had been served to present and former workers’ properties.

Amazon argued that most of the FTC’s CIDs are “unworkable and unfair”, are overly broad past the scope of the Amazon Prime investigation, and no witness could possibly be “ready to supply full and correct testimony.”

Amazon mentioned it stays dedicated to persevering with to co-operate with FTC employees with the knowledge it wants, however the FTC employees want “to additional make clear its obscure and argumentative requests and grant extra time to adjust to them, one thing employees has refused to do with rationalization.”

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Amazon Prime

In July 2022 Amazon confirmed the cost of Amazon’s Prime service for UK subscribers would rise in September, because the e-commerce big passes on its elevated supply prices to prospects.

The agency had earlier within the yr raised the costs for its North American prospects.

Amazon Prime was launched all the best way again in 2005 in the USA, and membership offers customers entry to limitless deliveries for on-line purchasing, and Amazon Contemporary grocery deliveries.

Nevertheless many individuals now use their Amazon Prime membership to entry entry to its video and music streaming companies.

Certainly, half of all UK shoppers (roughly 27 million folks) are thought to have entry to Prime, because the service quickly expanded throughout the pandemic, when high-street retailers had been compelled to shut for lengthy intervals.

Final yr Amazon confirmed it had more than 200 million paid Prime subscribers worldwide, up 50 million greater than it had at the beginning of 2020, earlier than Covid-19 took maintain of the world.

On the similar time in 2021 the agency confirmed that streaming hours on Prime Video had been up greater than 70 p.c year-over-year, in one other affirmation of its progress throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

It must be remembered that Amazon also purchased veteran film studio MGM in Might 2021 for $8.45 billion, having access to all its movies produced throughout a century of movie making.