Press Release

Primer: Antitrust Litigation Against Amazon’s Online Marketplace

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 17 state attorneys general filed an expansive antitrust case against tech giant Amazon, arguing that a variety of the company’s practices violate federal antitrust laws and harm competition online. In a new insight, Director of Technology and Innovation Policy Jeffrey Westling walks through the plaintiffs’ arguments against Amazon, as well as the firm’s defense issued in response.

Key points:

  • The courts will examine Amazon’s alleged anticompetitive conduct and weigh that against the procompetitive effects, as fierce competition among sellers can lower prices and increase the quality of services.
  • If the courts determine that Amazon’s conduct produces anticompetitive harms that outweigh the potential benefits, they can stop these practices under current antitrust law.
  • Congress should not pass legislation targeting firms such as Amazon on the basis of size alone and instead allow the courts to continue weighing these harms and benefits.

Read the analysis