Amazon’s wholesale business targeted in expanded antitrust suit, report says

An antitrust lawsuit against Amazon is reportedly expanding.

Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

Washington, DC, Attorney General Karl Racine is expanding an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, the Washington Post reported Monday, to allege the e-commerce giant locks wholesalers into anti-competitive agreements. His initial suit, filed in May, broadly accused Amazon of having too much control over the amount outside vendors can charge for their products.

The updated lawsuit says Amazon illegally demanded its wholesalers guarantee it makes a certain amount of money when it resells their products as its own, otherwise they must compensate Amazon for profits it loses. Wholesalers then raise their prices when selling to Amazon’s competition, giving the company another advantage, Racine alleges.

Amazon, which filed a motion to dismiss Racine’s original complaint, declined to comment on the updated suit and pointed to its previous statement.

“Amazon takes pride in the fact that we offer low prices across the broadest selection, and like any store we reserve the right not to highlight offers to customers that are not priced competitively,” it said. “The relief the AG seeks would force Amazon to feature higher prices to customers, oddly going against core objectives of antitrust law.”

Racine’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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