The judge assigned to the US Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) antitrust lawsuit against Amazon.com has recused himself from the case. According to court documents filed on Wednesday, Senior Judge John Coughenour, an appointee of Republican former President Ronald Reagan, did not provide a reason for dropping off the case.
The antitrust lawsuit was filed against Amazon in federal court in Seattle, and Judge Coughenour was assigned to the case just a day before his recusal. The case has now been reassigned to U.S. District Judge John Chun based on rotation. Judge Chun, nominated by President Joe Biden last year, previously served as a judge for the Washington State Court of Appeals.
The FTC’s lawsuit accuses Amazon of abusing its power in the retail market as an e-commerce giant. The commission alleges that Amazon unfairly gives preference to its own products and punishes merchants who want to sell products for lower prices on other platforms. This case is part of a larger series of similar but smaller private consumer cases that have been filed against Amazon in recent years and are pending in the same U.S. federal court, this time under Judge Ricardo Martinez, reported CNN.
The FTC has argued that its case should be assigned to Judge Martinez to avoid duplication or conflict. It remains to be seen how the re-assignment of the case to Judge Chun will impact the proceedings and whether any delays or changes will occur as a result.
This development comes at a time when Amazon is facing increasing scrutiny over its market dominance and alleged anti-competitive practices. The company has been the subject of numerous investigations and lawsuits both in the U.S. and internationally. Critics argue that Amazon’s size and influence give it an unfair advantage over smaller competitors and that it stifles competition in the retail market.
Amazon’s response to the FTC’s allegations and the subsequent recusal of Judge Coughenour remains to be seen. The company has previously defended its practices, stating that it operates in a highly competitive market and that it strives to provide the best possible experience for customers and sellers alike.
Source: Edition CNN