Amazon takes on the newly appointed head of the US trade authority FTC. The world’s largest online retailer demands that Lina Khan stay out of investigations into his competitive position because she is biased. Amazon submitted an official application to the FTC to this effect on Wednesday.
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is responsible for consumer protection in the USA and also conducts competition investigations. A few years ago, 32-year-old Khan made a paper called “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox“attracted attention, in which she argued that current US approaches to assessing the competitive position of Internet companies have failed.
Low prices do not rule out competitive procedures
The crucial question in such proceedings is often whether consumers would be disadvantaged by higher prices. However, Khan criticized that that was not enough. Because a company like Amazon could gain considerable control over various sectors of the economy, while customers superficially benefited from low prices, she argued.
Khan’s recent appointment as FTC chief was seen as a signal that US President Joe Biden’s administration is concerned about the market power of big tech companies and wants to oppose it. In the case of Amazon, the planned takeover of the Hollywood studio MGM should be examined soon.
Amazon insists on impartial investigations
Politicians and regulators in the USA and in Europe are also focusing more and more on the Group overall. “Even large companies have a right to impartial investigations,” said Amazon in a statement. However, Khan’s previous statements and texts showed that she had already formed an opinion about the company.
Amazon pointed out in the application, among other things, that Khan, in view of their analysis, considers breaking up the company to be justified. At the hearing on her appointment in the US Senate, Khan had assured that she had no conflicts of interest and would follow the facts with an open mind.