Amazon: FTC probe is chasing Bezos, execs; subpoenas too broad

WASHINGTON — Amazon has complained to federal regulators that they are chasing company founder Jeff Bezos and senior executives and making “impossible demands” in their investigation of Amazon Prime, the popular streaming and shopping service with free delivery and an estimated 200 million members. around the globe.

The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating Amazon Prime’s sign-up and cancellation practices as of March 2021 with the issuance of civil subpoenas, the retail and tech giant disclosed in a petition to the agency filed earlier this month.

The petition asks the FTC to cancel subpoenas sent to Bezos, former Amazon CEO and current CEO Andy Jassy, ​​or extend the response deadline last June. It says the FTC “has found no legitimate reason to need their testimony when it can obtain the same information and more from other witnesses and documents.”

According to Amazon, the survey has expanded to at least five other subscription programs: Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Unlimited, Subscribe & Save, and an unidentified third-party program not offered by Amazon. The regulators are asking the company to identify the number of consumers who have enrolled in the programs without giving their consent, among other customer information. In June, staff at the agency tried to subpoena nearly 20 current and former Amazon employees at home, with dates they could testify in the coming weeks, the petition said.

Amazon says in the petition that it has worked “diligently and cooperatively” with FTC personnel for more than a year to provide information relevant to the investigation, offering some 37,000 pages of documents. It calls the information requested in the subpoenas “too broad and cumbersome”.

READ ALSO -  Pecan farmers get caught in power vacuum at Texas border

Amazon blames the deadlock on “inexplicable pressure on staff to complete the investigation hastily, within an arbitrarily chosen deadline.”

FTC spokesmen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

With an estimated 150 million US subscribers, Amazon Prime is a major source of revenue and a wealth of customer data for the Seattle-based company. It costs $139 per year. The service added a coveted feature this year by acquiring exclusive video rights to the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football.”

Last year, Amazon unsuccessfully asked FTC Chairman Lina Khan to waive separate antitrust investigations into his company, arguing that her previous public criticism of the company’s market power made it impossible for her to be impartial.

Amazon’s latest petition to the FTC was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Copyright 2022 ABC NEWS. All rights reserved.
Follow WT LOCAL on Social Media for the Latest News and Updates.
Share this news on your Facebook,Twitter and Whatsapp.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter