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The District of Columbia has sued Amazon, accusing the online retail giant of anticompetitive practices in its treatment of sellers on its platform. The practices have raised prices for consumers and stifled innovation and choice in the online retail market, the DC attorney general alleges in an antitrust suit.
The suit filed Tuesday in the District of Columbia court maintains that Amazon has fixed online retail prices through contract provisions and policies it applies to third-party sellers on its platform.
It alleges these provisions and policies prevent sellers that offer products on Amazon from offering their products at lower prices or on better terms on any other online platform, including their own websites.
“We filed this antitrust lawsuit to put an end to Amazon’s illegal control of prices across the online retail market,” DC Attorney General Karl Racine said in a conference call with reporters. “We need a fair online marketplace that expands options available to [District of Columbia] residents and promotes competition, innovation and choice.”
Racine noted that Amazon — which recently made news because of a deal to buy MGM — is the world’s biggest online retailer, controlling 50 percent to 70 percent of online market sales.
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