September 29, 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are ordering Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassi to testify in a authorities investigation into Amazon Prime, dismissing the corporate’s grievance of unfair prosecution of executives in an investigation into the favored streaming and procuring service.

The Federal Commerce Fee issued an order late Wednesday, denying Amazon’s request to raise civil subpoenas despatched in June to Bezos, the Seattle-based former CEO, and Yassy. The order additionally units a deadline of January. 20 for finishing the entire testimony of Bezos, Yassy and 15 different senior executives who have been additionally subpoenaed.

Yassy took over the management of the net buying and selling and expertise big from Bezos, one of many richest males on the planet, in July 2021. Bezos grew to become govt chairman.

Amazon didn’t argue that the subpoenas “symbolize an undue burden by way of scope or timing,” FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson stated in an order on behalf of the company. Nonetheless, the FTC has agreed to alter a number of the subpoenas, which it admits seem like too broad.

Since March 2021, the FTC has been investigating the registration and cancellation of Amazon Prime, which has about 200 million members worldwide.

The corporate stated it was disillusioned however not stunned that the FTC largely dominated in favor of its personal place, however was happy that the company “supported the broadest requests” within the subpoenas.

“Amazon has cooperated with the FTC all through the investigation and has already produced tens of hundreds of pages of paperwork,” the corporate stated in a press release. “We’re dedicated to constructive engagement with FTC employees, however stay involved that the most recent requests are overbroad and unnecessarily burdensome, and we are going to take into account all of our choices.”

In a petition to the FTC filed final month, the corporate objected to subpoenas to Bezos and Yassy, ​​saying the company “has not recognized reliable causes for requiring their testimony when it will probably get the identical data and extra from different witnesses.” and paperwork. Amazon stated the FTC focused Bezos, Jassie and different executives, calling the knowledge required in subpoenas “too broad and burdensome.”

The investigation was expanded to incorporate no less than 4 different subscription packages owned by Amazon: Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Limitless, and Subscribe & Save, in addition to an unidentified third-party program not supplied by Amazon. Regulators requested the corporate to find out the variety of customers who have been enrolled within the packages with out their consent, amongst different buyer data.

With roughly 150 million US subscribers, Amazon Prime is a key income in addition to a wealth of buyer information for the corporate that runs an e-commerce empire centered on cloud computing, private good expertise and extra. . Amazon Prime prices $139 per 12 months. This 12 months, the service added a welcome characteristic by buying unique video rights for the NFL’s Thursday Night time Soccer.

Final 12 months, Amazon unsuccessfully requested FTC Chair Lina Khan to drop separate antitrust investigations into her enterprise, arguing that her public criticism of the corporate’s market energy earlier than she joined authorities saved her from being neutral. Khan has been a vocal critic of tech giants Fb (now Meta), Google and Apple, in addition to Amazon. She entered the antitrust scene in 2017, writing an influential examine referred to as “The Amazon Antitrust Paradox” whereas she was a Yale legislation pupil.

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