A federal judge has determined that Amazon may be legally accountable for claims that the company has employed pricing practices to raise the cost of goods sold by other retailers, which is in violation of US antitrust law.
The ruling by US District Judge Richard Jones in Seattle on Friday came in a prospective antitrust class action that has estimated damages of between $55 billion to $172 billion.
In 2020, a collective suit was brought forward by residents of 18 states, including Virginia, Texas, California, Florida and Illinois. Its main aim was to dispute the policy set by Amazon that provides retailers with no abilities to lower prices for goods sold on other platforms if they still wish their product to be available via the Amazon Marketplace.
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Jones’ order trimmed the lawsuit but said consumers can move ahead with their case.
Plaintiffs lawyer Steve Berman of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, a lead attorney for the proposed class, said “Amazon’s main arguments are rejected,” and called the ruling “good news for tens of millions of consumers who have been overcharged by Amazon.”