Amazon asks for FTC head to step aside from antitrust probes

Jun 30, 2021, 12:34 PM | Updated: Jul 1, 2021, 3:04 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amazon is asking that the new head of the Federal Trade Commission step aside from antitrust investigations into the e-commerce giant, contending that her past public criticism of the company’s market power makes it impossible for her to be impartial.

Amazon petitioned the agency Wednesday to remove Chair Lina Khan from taking part in current probes of the company’s market conduct. Khan has been a fierce critic of tech giants Facebook, Google and Apple, as well as Amazon. She arrived on the antitrust scene in 2017, writing an influential study titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” when she was a Yale law student.

FTC officials declined comment on Amazon’s motion. The agency could be expected to respond formally at some point.

As counsel to a House Judiciary antitrust panel in 2019 and 2020, Khan played a key role in a sweeping bipartisan investigation of the market power of the four tech giants.

President Joe Biden recently installed Khan as one of five commissioners and head of the FTC, signaling a tough stance toward Big Tech and its market dominance. At 32, she is the youngest chair in the history of the agency, which polices competition and consumer protection in industry generally, as well as digital privacy.

“Due process entitles all individuals and companies to fair consideration of the merits of any investigation or adjudication by impartial commissioners who have not — and, equally importantly, who do not appear to have — prejudged the issues against them,” Seattle-based Amazon said in the motion.

The FTC has been investigating the tech giants. On Monday, a federal judge dismissed antitrust lawsuits brought against Facebook by the FTC and a coalition of states, saying they didn’t provide enough evidence to prove that Facebook is a monopoly in the social networking market. The judge, however, allowed the FTC to revise its complaint and try again.

Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, is said by regulators to control 50% to 70% of online market sales. Founded by Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest individual, Amazon runs an e-commerce empire and ventures in cloud computing, personal “smart” tech and beyond.

Some independent merchants who sell products on Amazon.com have complained about the company’s practices, such as contract provisions said to prevent sellers from offering their products at lower prices or on better terms on any other online platform, including their own websites.

New legislative proposals approved last week by the House Judiciary Committee raised the issue of a possible forced spinoff of Amazon’s private-label products that compete with vendors on the platform.

In its defense, Amazon has said that sellers set their own prices for the products they offer on its platform.

“Amazon takes pride in the fact that we offer low prices across the broadest selection, and like any store we reserve the right not to highlight offers to customers that are not priced competitively,” the company has said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House Monday, Aug. 1, 202...
Associated Press

One year after Afghanistan, spy agencies pivot toward China

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a recent closed-door meeting with leaders of the agency’s counterterrorism center, the CIA’s No. 2 official made clear that fighting al-Qaida and other extremist groups would remain a priority — but that the agency’s money and resources would be increasingly shifted to focusing on China. The CIA drone attack that killed […]
21 hours ago
Currency traders watch monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquart...
Associated Press

Asian stocks mixed after US job gain paves way for rate hike

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed on Monday after strong U.S. jobs data cleared the way for more interest rate hikes and China reported its exports rose by double digits. Shanghai and Tokyo advanced while Hong Kong and Seoul retreated. Oil prices edged higher. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 lost 0.2% on Friday after […]
21 hours ago
A rescue worker puts out the fire at the house destroyed by a Russian attack in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, ...
Associated Press

Russian forces start new assault on two Ukrainian cities

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces began an assault Saturday on two key cities in the eastern Donetsk region and kept up rocket and shelling attacks on other Ukrainian cities, including one close to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s military and local officials said. Both cities of Bakhmut and Avdiivka have been considered key […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: August 8, Nixon announces his resignation

Today in History Today is Monday, Aug. 8, the 220th day of 2022. There are 145 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Aug. 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon, facing damaging new revelations in the Watergate scandal, announced he would resign the following day. On this date: In 1814, during the War […]
21 hours ago
FILE - This photo combo of images provided by the Kent County Sheriff and Delaware Department of Ju...
Associated Press

2 men face new trial over scheme to kidnap Michigan governor

Two men accused of crafting a plan to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 and ignite a national rebellion are facing a second trial this week, months after a jury couldn’t reach a verdict on the pair while acquitting two others. The result in April was a blow to federal prosecutors, who had set […]
21 hours ago
A resident gets his routine throat swabs at a COVID-19 testing site in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 7, 202...
Associated Press

COVID cases rise in China’s Hainan, tourists stranded

BEIJING (AP) — Another 259 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the southern Chinese island province of Hainan, where some 80,000 tourists have been stranded by pandemic restrictions. Authorities declared Hainan’s beach resort city Sanya a COVID-19 hot spot Saturday and imposed a lockdown, confining Chinese citizens and expatriates to their hotels on what they […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Amazon asks for FTC head to step aside from antitrust probes