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2026 Trial Date Set: FTC Antitrust Lawsuit Against Amazon Advances

 |  February 14, 2024

In a significant development in the ongoing legal battle between the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Amazon.com, a US federal judge has set a trial date for October 2026.

The lawsuit, filed by the consumer protection agency on September 26, alleges that the e-commerce giant has been operating an illegal monopoly, particularly by stifling competition from sellers on its platform, reported Reuters.

The FTC’s lawsuit accuses Amazon of engaging in anticompetitive practices, including hindering sellers’ efforts to offer products at lower prices on other online marketplaces. Amazon, in response, has vehemently denied these allegations, arguing that the FTC’s claims misconstrue standard retail practices and fail to demonstrate any harm to consumers.

Last week, the FTC urged the presiding judge to dismiss Amazon’s request for the suit’s dismissal, asserting that the agency had adequately demonstrated how Amazon maintains its monopoly power while simultaneously harming consumers. Among the accusations levied by the FTC is Amazon’s alleged use of an algorithm, internally known as “Project Nessie,” to identify products for which it predicts other online retailers will follow its price increases.

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According to the FTC, Amazon’s implementation of Project Nessie has resulted in a substantial increase in prices paid by U.S. households, amounting to over $1 billion. The agency contends that Amazon’s monopolistic practices have enabled the company to extract significant profits at the expense of consumers.

With the trial date now set for October 2026, both sides are preparing for what is expected to be a protracted legal battle. Amazon, with its vast array of products and substantial market influence, remains firm in its denial of the FTC’s allegations, while the FTC appears resolute in its determination to hold the tech giant accountable for alleged antitrust violations.

As the case unfolds, it is likely to have far-reaching implications not only for Amazon but also for the broader landscape of e-commerce and competition regulation in the United States.

Source: Reuters