According to Bloomberg, the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission said the agency was “interested in hearing complaints” regarding the Amazon’s alleged practice of “punishing [third-party] merchants that offer lower prices” on other websites.
“Anyone who wants to complain, we’re all ears,” FTC Chairman, Joe Simons, told the news outlet.
While he didn’t explicitly say that the FTC was opening a formal probe into Amazon, he did say that the task force assigned to investigate anti-competitive conduct in the sector “has been evaluating a broad range of complaints” and that officials had spoken to at least one merchant at length.
Per the story, complaints allege that third-party sellers have had to raise prices “on products they sell on competing websites to avoid being penalized by the e-commerce giant,” and that if a merchant offers lower prices on something elsewhere, Amazon “makes that product’s listing harder to find and buy on its own marketplace.”
If the agency goes forward, the investigation would mark the third active inquiry into Amazon, as the House Judiciary antitrust committee and European antitrust officials have already launched their own.
Amazon declined comment to Bloomberg, but has previously said that “sellers have full control of the prices they set.” And sure, that’s probably accurate, but it also doesn’t address the charges even in the slightest.
You can read more about it at Bloomberg.