E-commerce giant Amazon has filed a motion in the US Federal Court to dismiss a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit accusing the company of engaging in anticompetitive practices.
In September 2023, the FTC and the Attorneys General of 17 states sued Amazon over allegations of illegally maintaining monopoly power.
The lawsuit said that the retailer created a “secret algorithm” known as Project Nessie through which it increases prices on certain products without losing customers, Reuters reported.
The retailer allegedly made more than $1bn through Project Nessie.
Amazon’s motion, filed on 8 December 2023, claimed that the project was discontinued in 2019 and matches other companies’ lowest prices.
The retailer also accused the FTC of confusing “common retail practices” with anticompetitive practices, and that it failed to identify harm to consumers.
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Amazon said in a statement: “Amazon promptly matches rivals’ discounts, features competitively priced deals rather than overpriced ones, and ensures best-in-class delivery for its Prime subscribers.
“Those practices — the targets of this antitrust complaint— benefit consumers and are the essence of competition.”
The FTC also accused Amazon of raising the fulfilment services charge from 27% in 2014 to 39.5% in 2018.
However, the retailer claimed that its fulfilment services were voluntary, including for products sold under its Prime service.
Amazon stated: “The complaint’s online superstore market is implausible because it suggests, for example, that consumers would not consider buying a low-priced TV on Bestbuy.com only because Best Buy does not also sell shoes.”
The FTC’s case against Amazon is currently in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle.
In its fiscal 2023 third quarter financial result, the retailer reported that sales increased by 13% to $143.1bn.