Amazon cannot stop Jassy, ​​Bezos from testifying in FTC Prime investigation

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

Michael M Santiago | Getty Photographs Information | Getty Photographs

The Federal Commerce Fee late Wednesday rejected Amazon’s provide to exclude CEO Andy Jassy and founder Jeff Bezos from testifying in an investigation into the retail large’s Prime program.

In an order written by Republican Commissioner Christine Wilson and revealed on the FTC’s web site, the company dominated that Amazon didn’t sufficiently show that its schedule for govt testimony can be too burdensome. Nevertheless, the company allowed extra preparation time earlier than they testified.

“Amazon has given no motive why the Fee ought to settle for something lower than all related testimony that may be obtained from these two witnesses,” the order stated.

Amazon filed a grievance in an August submitting, claiming that the FTC’s calls for for info and testimony by prime executives had been too broad and burdensome. Amazon even accused FTC workers of harassing Bezos and Jassy for his or her participation.

Amazon stated the FTC “made issues worse” when it notified the corporate in June that the company was increasing the scope of its investigation to incorporate different subscription applications, together with Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Limitless and Subscribe & Save, in accordance with an August submitting. .

The FTC has been investigating the registration and cancellation processes for Amazon’s Prime program since March 2021. The company is wanting into whether or not Amazon tricked customers into signing up for Prime, whereas failing to supply a easy solution to cancel and keep away from recurring charges.

The Prime subscription program, which prices $139 per yr and consists of perks akin to free delivery, now has roughly 200 million subscribers worldwide.

Amazon stated final month it had complied with the FTC’s requests up to now, yielding about 37,000 pages of paperwork.

Amazon has navigated a sophisticated relationship with the FTC beneath Chairman Lina Khan, who rose to prominence as a legislation pupil when she revealed “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” within the Yale Regulation Journal in 2017. The corporate requested Khan’s denial of antitrust investigations into his enterprise, citing previous critics. previous to his energy.

Amazon obtained some concessions from the FTC, akin to a “catch-all” request for info, which the fee stated can be modified. The FTC additionally drafted a protocol to schedule future hearings and clarified that witnesses ought to largely be allowed to decide on their very own authorized counsel, barring sure conflicts.

“We’re disillusioned however not shocked that the FTC has largely refused to resolve for itself, however we’re happy that the company helps its broadest request and can enable witnesses to decide on their very own counsel,” an Amazon spokesperson stated in an announcement. “Amazon has labored carefully with the FTC all through the investigation and has produced tens of 1000’s of pages of paperwork. We’re dedicated to participating constructively with FTC workers, however we stay involved that the most recent request is just too broad and unnecessarily burdensome, and we’ll discover all of our choices.”

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