Federal authorities are urging Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassy to testify in the government''s investigation of Amazon Prime, rejecting the company''s complaint that the executives are unfairly harassed in the investigation of the popular streaming and shopping service.
The Federal Trade Commission issued a notice late Wednesday denying Amazon''s request to have civil subpoenas dismissed by Bezos, the Seattle-based company''s former CEO, and Jassy. The order also gave Bezos, Jassy, and other senior executives a deadline of January 20 for completion of all statements.
In July 2021, Jassy took over over the lead of Bezos, a world''s richest individual. Bezos became executive chairman.
According to the FTC Commissioner, Amazon hasn''t argued that the subpoenas pose unreasonable penalties in terms of scope or timing. However, the FTC did modify some provisions of the subpoenas that it admitted to being too broad.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has investigated the adoption and suppression methods of Amazon Prime, which has an estimated 200 million members around the world.
The firm said it was disappointed but not surprised that the Federal Trade Commission voted for its own position, but that it was pleased that the agency supported its broadest appeals in the subpoenas.
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Amazon''s staff has cooperated with the Federal Trade Commission during the investigation, and has already produced tens of thousands of documents, according to the company. We are dedicated to engaging constructively with the Federal Trade Commission, but we remain concerned that the most recent requests are overly broad and must be overwhelming, and we will investigate all our options."
According to Amazon, the Federal Trade Commission was hounding Bezos, Jassy, and other executives in a petition to the Federal Trade Commission filed last month, claiming that the agency has identified no legitimate reason for soliciting their testimony.
At least four additional Amazon-owned subscription programs have been identified, including Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Unlimited, and Subscribe & Save, as well as an unidentified third-party program not offered by Amazon. The regulators have asked the company to identify the number of consumers who were enrolled in the programs without giving their consent, among others.
Amazon Prime is a key source of revenue as well as a wealth of customer data for the company, which has evolved into an e-commerce empire and is investing in cloud computing, personal smart technology, and other industries. This year, Amazon Prime received exclusive video rights to the NFL''s Thursday Night Football.
In 2017, Amazon requested that Lina Khan, the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, withdraw from any other antitrust investigations into its business, claiming that her public opposition to Facebook (now Meta) and Apple, as well as Amazon, makes it difficult for her to be impartial. Khan appeared on the antitrust scene in 2017, writing an influential study titled Amazon''s Antitrust Paradox when she was a Yale law student.