Amazon Defends Business Practices as 'Essence of Competition,' Urges Court to Dismiss FTC Antitrust Lawsuit

Key Points:

  • Amazon fires back at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), asserting its business practices are the "essence of competition" in response to the landmark antitrust lawsuit.
  • The e-commerce giant challenges the FTC's definition of the relevant market, emphasizing its continuous competition with both online and brick-and-mortar retailers.
  • Amazon's legal filing in U.S. District Court in Seattle argues for the dismissal of the case, stating that the company's innovations benefit consumers and drive competitors to deliver unprecedented advantages.
  • The motion to dismiss focuses on procompetitive conduct, denying anticompetitive effects, questioning the FTC's authority, and challenging state law claims.
  • Amazon rebuts allegations of imposing excessive fees on sellers, highlighting the voluntary nature of participation in its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.

Dive Insight:

In a robust legal response to the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust lawsuit, Amazon staunchly defends its business practices as the "essence of competition," emphasizing its continuous rivalry with a vast array of online and brick-and-mortar retailers. The company's legal filing, submitted to the U.S. District Court in Seattle, challenges the FTC's characterization of the relevant market, aiming to undermine the core argument that Amazon is improperly leveraging dominance in the "online superstore market."

Amazon contends that it competes rigorously, innovating relentlessly to bring unparalleled benefits to consumers and foster competition in the marketplace. The company's legal motion, filed on Friday, seeks the dismissal of the case on multiple grounds, including assertions of pro-competitive conduct and the absence of plausible allegations of anticompetitive effects such as increased prices or reduced output.

The e-commerce giant challenges the FTC's authority to bring standalone Section 5 claims without first determining "unfairness" in its administrative court. Additionally, Amazon asserts that state law claims should be dismissed, citing failures in the Sherman Act claims and the absence of equivalent state laws for certain allegations.

Addressing specific accusations, Amazon refutes claims of imposing excessive fees on sellers, highlighting the voluntary nature of participating in its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. The company argues that FBA participation allows sellers to ship goods quickly and reliably without incurring higher fees, ensuring adherence to Amazon's delivery standards.

Amazon also defends its "Project Nessie" pricing strategy, characterized as an experimental approach that matched competitors' second-lowest prices for certain products from 2015 to 2019. Amazon asks the court to dismiss related claims as untimely, portraying the initiative as part of its dynamic and evolving approach to pricing.

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