FTC: Andy Jassy, Jeff Bezos need to affirm after appeal turned down

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are buying Amazon creator Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassy to affirm in the federal government’s examination of Amazon Prime, declining the business’s grievance that the executives are being unjustly bugged in the probe of the popular streaming and shopping service.

The Federal Trade Commission released an order late Wednesday rejecting Amazon’s demand to cancel civil subpoenas sent out in June to Bezos, the Seattle-based business’s previous CEO, and Jassy. The order likewise sets a due date of Jan. 20 for the conclusion of all statement by Bezos, Jassy and 15 other senior executives, who likewise were subpoenaed.

Jassy took control of the helm of the online retail and tech giant from Bezos, among the world’s wealthiest people, in July 2021. Bezos ended up being executive chairman.

Amazon hasn’t made the case that the subpoenas “present undue burdens in terms of scope or timing,” FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson stated in the order on behalf of the firm. However, the FTC did consented to customize some arrangements of the subpoenas that it acknowledged appeared too broad.

The FTC has actually been examining given that March 2021 the sign-up and cancellation practices of Amazon Prime, which has actually an approximated 200 million members around the world.

The business stated it was dissatisfied however not shocked that the FTC mainly ruled in favor of its own position, however it was happy that the firm “walked backed its broadest requests” in the subpoenas.

“Amazon has cooperated with the FTC throughout the investigation and already produced tens of thousands of pages of documents,” the business stated in a declaration. “We are committed to engaging constructively with FTC staff, but we remain concerned that the latest requests are overly broad and needlessly burdensome, and we will explore all our options.”

In a petition to the FTC submitted last month, the business challenged the subpoenas to Bezos and Jassy, stating the firm “has identified no legitimate reason for needing their testimony when it can obtain the same information, and more, from other witnesses and documents.” Amazon stated the FTC was pestering Bezos, Jassy and the other executives, calling the details required in the subpoenas “overly broad and burdensome.”

The examination has actually expanded to consist of a minimum of 4 other Amazon-owned membership programs: Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Unlimited and Subscribe & Save, in addition to an unknown third-party program not provided by Amazon. The regulators have actually asked the business to recognize the variety of customers who were registered in the programs without offering their approval, to name a few consumer details.

With an approximated 150 million U.S. customers, Amazon Prime is an essential source of income, in addition to a wealth of consumer information, for the business, which runs an e-commerce empire and endeavors in cloud computing, individual “smart” tech and beyond. Amazon Prime costs $139 a year. The service included a desirable function this year by acquiring special video rights to the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football.”

Last year, Amazon asked unsuccessfully that FTC Chair Lina Khan action aside from different antitrust examinations into its service, competing that her public criticism of the business’s market power prior to she signed up with the federal government makes it difficult for her to be objective. Khan was an intense critic of tech giants Facebook (now Meta), Google and Apple, in addition to Amazon. She gotten here on the antitrust scene in 2017, composing a prominent research study entitled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” when she was a Yale law trainee.

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