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Amazon Antitrust Lawsuit Trial Delayed, Set to Begin in 2026

 |  December 21, 2023

In a joint statement filed this week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Amazon announced that the highly anticipated antitrust lawsuit against the e-commerce giant is unlikely to commence until 2026, with differing estimates on trial readiness.

The FTC proposed a trial start date of May 2026, citing the intricate legal and factual complexities of the case. However, Amazon countered, asserting that it would be prepared by December of the same year. The government acknowledged the complexity of the case in its filing, emphasizing the need for substantial discovery.

This legal battle, initiated in September, involves the FTC and attorneys general from 17 states accusing Amazon of anticompetitive behavior. The allegations focus on what is described as “punitive and coercive tactics” employed by Amazon to maintain its monopolies, particularly affecting marketplace sellers responsible for 60% of the site’s merchandise.

Related: Amazon Challenges EU’s ‘Large Online Platform’ Law

At the heart of the claims is an algorithm dubbed Project Nessie, which the plaintiffs argue unfairly tilts prices in Amazon’s favor, often to the detriment of sellers and consumers. The joint statement this week revealed Amazon’s contention that the proposed trial timetable is unrealistic, citing the extensive discovery required.

Amazon argued that if the case proceeds, significant discovery will be necessary from third-party witnesses across the country, including retail competitors, fulfillment providers, and companies selling products on the Amazon platform and other competing channels.

While Amazon pushes for the dismissal of the case, both parties anticipate grappling with substantial legal and factual challenges. As the legal proceedings unfold, the future implications for Amazon’s market dominance and the broader e-commerce landscape remain uncertain.

Source: Finance Yahoo