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US: FTC’s Whole Foods-Amazon review leads to probe

 |  July 23, 2017

What started as a review of Amazon’s planned acquisition of Whole Foods has turned in a different direction according to a source close to the investigation. While investigating the planned deal, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is also looking into complaints that Amazon misleads customers about pricing discounts.

The complaint, filed by advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, reported that the group found that approximately 46% of the products they looked at on Amazon’s website had list prices. A later analysis found that 61% of the products with list prices had higher prices 90 days later.

After Consumer Watchdog filed the complaint, a source says that the FTC started informal inquiries.

The regulator has not commented yet on the probe so it is not known if a formal investigation will be opened, but Amazon has responded to the allegations in a statement saying, “The conclusions the Consumer Watchdog group reached are flat out wrong. We validate the reference prices provided by manufacturers, vendors and sellers against actual prices recently found across Amazon and other retailers.”

Full Content: Fortune

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