A PYMNTS Company

DC AG Seeks To Revive Amazon Antitrust Suit

 |  January 24, 2023

The District of Columbia attorney general on Monday urged a Washington, DC, appeals court to revive the city’s claim that Amazon.com Inc is violating antitrust law through agreements prohibiting merchants from offering better price deals elsewhere.

Lawyers for DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb argued in their opening court filing at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that a trial judge in May “ignored or discounted” the city’s factual allegations and “perfunctorily dismissed” the lawsuit in an oral ruling from the bench.

D.C.’s lawyers said the lower court “appeared to reason” that an agreement to restrain trade can’t violate antitrust law if it economically benefited the parties.

Related: NGOs Say EU Amazon Antitrust Probe Has Many Issues

“That is not the law,” the attorney general’s team told the appeals court, the highest local tribunal in the city.

The district also argued that Superior Court Judge Hiram Puig-Lugo should have allowed the city to file an amended complaint to include more details about specific sellers and how Amazon’s agreements allegedly pushed them to raise prices.