The US state of California has filed a lawsuit against e-commerce giant Amazon. According to the lawyer, Amazon is closing deals with third-party sellers and wholesalers are raising prices. That would be anti-competitive and against California’s antitrust laws.
To avoid price competition with other online e-commerce companies, Amazon merchants must enter into contracts. They will be severely penalized if they offer their products at lower prices outside of Amazon. The complaint alleges that this practice not only reduces other companies’ ability to compete, but also increases Amazon’s dominance in the e-commerce market.
“California consumers have been paying more for their online purchases for years because of Amazon’s anti-competitive contracting practices,” the attorney general said. “Many products purchased online would be cheaper if competition were unregulated.”
Amazon is America’s largest online retailer with more than 160 million Prime members nationwide. About 25 million of them come from California alone.