Attorney General sues Amazon for allegedly engaging in unfair and deceptive business practices

On Wednesday, Attorney General Kris Mayes announced that the state of Arizona has filed a lawsuit against Amazon for utilizing unfair and deceptive practices. The online giant is accused of violating the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act and the Arizona Uniform State Antitrust Act through its actions.

The lawsuit centers around several aspects of Amazon’s business model, including its Prime cancellation process, Buy Box algorithm, and price parity agreements with third-party sellers. Specifically, the suit alleges that Amazon’s Prime cancellation process is intentionally confusing and misleading through a strategy known as Project Iliad, which has successfully reduced Prime cancellations by 14%.

Another focus of the lawsuit is on Amazon’s Buy Box algorithm, which determines which product offer appears when users click on the “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” buttons. The lawsuit claims that this algorithm is biased towards offers that benefit Amazon’s profits, often favoring its own products or those of its sellers over others not fulfilled by Amazon.

Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that Amazon enforces unlawful price parity agreements through its Business Service Agreement with third-party sellers. This practice stifles competition against Amazon as a retailer and marketplace provider and ultimately leads to inflated prices for consumers in Arizona.

Attorney General Mayes emphasized that she believes it’s crucial for companies like Amazon to comply with state law to ensure fairness for consumers and a level playing field for small businesses. The suit seeks damages for consumers who have been harmed by these practices and orders Amazon to stop engaging in such behavior moving forward.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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