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FTC: Amazon's Bezos, Jassy Must Testify in Probe

    FTC: Amazon's Bezos, Jassy Must Testify in Probe
    Last updated: 2 months ago
    Image credit: NurPhoto/Getty Images [via Fox Business]

    Facts

    • On Wednesday, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rejected Amazon's bid to quash subpoenas for the company's founder Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassy, ruling that they must testify in its probe regarding Amazon's membership policies. [1]
    • In March 2021, FTC staff began investigating whether the company deceives its customers into signing up for Amazon Prime and makes it hard to cancel. In June, the investigation expanded to include other Amazon subscription programs, including Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Unlimited, and Subscribe & Save. [2]
    • The expanded probe came after Business Insider reported that some within the company were concerned about whether Amazon's customer acquisition and retention practices were "deliberately confusing." [3]
    • In its petition, Amazon argued that the agency's information and interview requests were too burdensome, but FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson said the company provided "no reason why the Commission must accept anything less than all the relevant testimony it can obtain." [4]
    • Though the agency also denied Amazon's claim that Bezos and Jassy aren't steeped in membership policies and therefore shouldn't testify, it did agree to allow its lawyers to represent both the company and individual employees. [2]
    • The company had also previously asked that FTC Chair Lina Khan recuse herself from the probe due to her past public criticisms of Amazon. That request, however, was also denied. [3]
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    Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    There's a reason both US and international governments have been investigating Amazon recently, and that is that the whole world is starting to catch on to their nefarious, monopolistic business practices. Agencies like the FTC, as well as other entities, need to push hard against this industry giant to protect consumers and competitors.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    As Amazon has pointed out before, the unusually hard stance the FTC has taken against it isn't a coincidence. FTC Chair Lina Khan has a personal animus against the company, and her staffers at the agency are simply soldiers helping her pursue this vendetta against Bezos.

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