DC’s AG Looks To Revive Antitrust Suit Against Amazon

DC Attorney General Karl Racine (D) filed a notice of appeal Thursday to revive the antitrust case against Amazon that a judge dismissed earlier this year. 

The lawsuit, first filed in 2021, alleges Amazon has used its position as a giant in the e-commerce field to maximize profits at the expense of consumers, third-party sellers and wholesalers. It accuses Amazon of using anticompetitive practices by keeping third-party sellers from offering lower-cost proxies for products elsewhere.

A judge dismissed the case in March in an oral ruling. 

“We’re appealing the lower court’s decision because District consumers deserve a fair marketplace that promotes competition, innovation, and choice,” Racine said in a statement. “And we’re filing this appeal because the antitrust laws and the facts are on our side—and on the side of District residents. We look forward to making our case before the Court of Appeals.”

The appeal is Racine’s latest attempt to push the first government-led antitrust case against Amazon forward. In April his office filed a motion asking the court to reconsider the ruling. 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) also urged the court to reconsider the decision to dismiss the case. DOJ attorneys wrote in an April filing that if “left uncorrected, the Court’s ruling could jeopardize the enforcement of antitrust law by improperly raising the bar on plaintiffs challenging anticompetitive contractual restraints in the District of Columbia.” 

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