The Federal Trade Commission will start an antitrust case against Amazon fourth against according to a report this year, the king of retail and the largest yet Bloomberg.
The FTC reportedly spent months preparing for a far-reaching decision Case accusing Amazon of having a monopoly on its platform, forcing sellers to use its logistics services and penalizing those who don’t. Amazon offers a range of services to third-parties, from shipping to advertising to warehousing, and the company’s adoption has grown to the point where it rakes in more than 50% of every sale. Given FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan’s background, it’s likely that the government will attempt to dismantle Amazon once and for all.
This case would be the greatest test for FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan, perhaps the most terrifying bogeyman in business. Khan rose to come to power on the basis of academic arguments that our existing antitrust legislation has everything regulators need to take on big tech. Khan’s FTC has filed a lawsuit against it all four major consumer tech companies, with lawsuits against Amazon, Google, and Meta, and an ongoing investigation into Apple.
It has made Khan the target of endless attacks corporate apologists like the editors of the Wall Street Journal opinion pages, where she is portrayed as dangerous, irresponsible and incompetent. Companies like Google and Amazon have tried to get Khan to back out in other cases, as she has made legal arguments against big tech companies in the past. It’s likely that Amazon will make this request again, and it’s likely that Khan will decline. Amazon and the FTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
For years, the worst alleged abuses by big tech went unchecked by the government, despite widespread bipartisan agreement that the tech industry needs to be brought under control and vociferous cries of reproach from politicians who said someone really should do something take action against all of these things. Under Khan’s leadership, consumer advocates and technology critics believe in it finally have their champion.
Khan’s FTC changed the status quo of the technology industry on the head. For decades, conservatives fought to weaken the FTC and hamper the government’s ability to stop monopolies in particular. But The FTC is tired of shuffling its feet. Using the few feeble legal resources at her disposal, she initiated a series of cases and settlements that seemed unthinkable just a few years ago. For people like a dry and meticulous agency full of lawyers and regulators, it’s all about being as exciting as possible. If the FTC succeeds, it could create the internet that everyone from consumers to politicians has ever had screaming after.