Home Markets Amazon can’t stop Jassy, ​​Bezos, from testifying in FTC Prime probe

Amazon can’t stop Jassy, ​​Bezos, from testifying in FTC Prime probe

by SuperiorInvest

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos arrives for a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the British diplomatic residence on September 20, 2021 in New York.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission declined late Wednesday Amazons bid to oust CEO Andy Jassy and the founders Jeff Bezos from testifying in the probe into the retail giant’s Prime program.

In an order Written by Republican Commissioner Christine Wilson and posted on the FTC’s website, the agency ruled that Amazon had not sufficiently demonstrated that its executive testimony schedule was unduly burdensome. Still, the agency has given more time to prepare before they testify.

“Amazon provides no reason why the Commission should accept anything less than all the relevant testimony it can obtain from these two witnesses,” the order states.

Amazon filed the complaint in an August filing, arguing that the FTC’s requests for information and testimony from top executives were overly broad and burdensome. Amazon he even accused FTC employees of harassment Bezos and Jassy for their participation.

Amazon said the FTC “made matters worse” when it informed the company in June that the agency was expanding the scope of its investigation to include other subscription programs, including Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Unlimited and Subscribe & Save, according to an August filing. .

The FTC has been investigating Amazon’s Prime enrollment and cancellation processes since March 2021. The agency is investigating whether Amazon misled users into signing up for Prime while failing to provide an easy way to cancel and avoid recurring charges.

The Prime subscription program, which costs $139 a year and includes perks like free shipping, now has about 200 million subscribers worldwide.

Amazon said last month that it is so far complying with the FTC’s requests and has produced approximately 37,000 pages of documents.

Amazon has been embroiled in a complicated relationship with the FTC under chairwoman Lina Khan, who rose to fame as a law student when she published “The Amazon Antitrust Paradox” in the Yale Law Journal in 2017. Society sought Khan’s dismissal from antitrust probes into his business, citing her past criticism of his power.

Amazon won some concessions from the FTC, such as limiting “catch-all” requests for information that the commission said it would modify. The FTC also established protocol for scheduling future hearings and clarified that witnesses should largely be allowed to choose their own counsel, except in certain conflicts.

“We are disappointed but not surprised that the FTC has largely declined to rule against itself, but we are pleased that the agency has supported its broadest demands and will allow witnesses to choose their own counsel,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “Amazon has cooperated with the FTC during the investigation and has already produced tens of thousands of pages of documents. We are committed to working constructively with FTC officials, but we remain concerned that the latest requests are overly broad and unnecessarily burdensome, and we will explore all of our options.”

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