Amazon can’t keep Jassy, Bezos from testifying in FTC Prime probe

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos arrives for a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the British Embassy in New York City on September 20, 2021.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images News | Good pictures

The Federal Trade Commission rejected it late Wednesday of Amazon It bid to oust CEO Andy Jassy and the founder Jeff Bezos From testifying at the trial on the retail giant’s Prime program.

A order Written by Republican Commissioner Christine Wilson and made public on the FTC’s website, the agency ruled that Amazon had not sufficiently demonstrated that its schedule for executives’ testimony would be unduly burdensome. However, the company allowed more preparation time before they could testify.

“Amazon provides no reason why the Commission should accept anything less than all the relevant testimony it could obtain from these two witnesses,” the order said.

In a complaint filed in August, Amazon said the FTC’s requests for information and testimony from top officials were too broad and burdensome. Amazon He also accused the FTC of harassing employees Bezos and Jassi to participate.

Amazon said the FTC “made matters worse” when it told the company in June that the agency was expanding the scope of its investigation to include other subscription plans, including Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Unlimited and Subscribe & Save, as per an August filing. .

The FTC is investigating enrollment and cancellation processes in Amazon’s Prime program starting in March 2021. The company is investigating whether Amazon tricked users into signing up for Prime while failing to provide an easy way to cancel and avoid recurring charges.

The Prime subscription plan, which costs $139 a year and includes perks like free shipping, now has about 200 million subscribers worldwide.

Amazon said last month it was complying with the FTC’s demands, producing about 37,000 pages of documents.

Amazon has navigated a tricky relationship with the FTC under CEO Lina Khan, who rose to fame as a law student when she was published.Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” in the Yale Law Journal in 2017. Company Khan sought denial From pessimistic reviews of its business, citing his past criticisms of its power.

Amazon received some concessions from the FTC, such as a limit on “cat-all” requests for information, which the commission said it would reverse. The FTC also laid out a protocol for scheduling future hearings and clarified that, barring certain conflicts, witnesses should generally be allowed to choose their own counsel.

“We are disappointed, but not surprised, that the FTC has largely declined to rule against it, but we are pleased that the company has supported its broad claims and will allow witnesses to choose their own counsel,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement. “Amazon has cooperated with the FTC throughout its investigation and has already produced tens of thousands of pages of documents. We are committed to engaging constructively with FTC staff, but we are concerned that the latest requests are overly broad and unnecessarily burdensome, and we will explore all of our options.”

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See: How Amazon Prime Turned Amazon into a $1.6 Trillion Empire

How Amazon Prime Turned Amazon into a $1.6 Trillion Empire

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