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Arizona Turns Up the Heat in Amazon’s Legal Battles

 |  June 3, 2024

By: Paul L. Singer, Abigail Stempson, Beth Bolen Chun & Shea O’Meara (Kelley Drye AdLaw)

General Kris Mayes has filed two new lawsuits against Amazon.

The first lawsuit accuses Amazon of using “dark patterns,” which are design tricks that make it hard for consumers to cancel their Prime subscriptions. The lawsuit claims Amazon used misleading graphics and wording, and emphasized the benefits of Prime before allowing cancellations, among other tactics designed to exploit cognitive biases and influence users’ choices.

This case, filed in state court under the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, is similar to an existing FTC case against Amazon regarding similar cancellation issues. This new focus on Amazon highlights the states’ interest in targeting companies for using dark patterns and shows that states have the authority to take action even when the FTC is already pursuing the same issue.

The second lawsuit alleges antitrust violations concerning Amazon’s “Buy Box” algorithm, which determines which products get priority placement on the platform, and the terms imposed on third-party sellers. Arizona claims Amazon has illegally maintained market dominance through restrictions on third-party sellers. This lawsuit aligns with a similar suit filed by seventeen state AGs and the FTC in September 2023…