DC Attorney General Loses Again in Antitrust Claims Against Amazon

August 3, 2022 by Tom Ramstack
DC Attorney General Loses Again in Antitrust Claims Against Amazon
District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine

WASHINGTON — Washington, D.C.’s attorney general lost again Monday in an attempt to hold Amazon.com liable for alleged antitrust violations.

Attorney General Karl A. Racine filed an anti-competition lawsuit last year that accused Amazon of unfair trade practices that included using overly restrictive contracts with businesses that sell products on the e-commerce giant’s website.

The result was higher prices for consumers and less competition, according to the lawsuit.

In March, a District of Columbia Superior Court judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying it lacked evidence Amazon’s business strategy led to higher prices for e-commerce customers.


The attorney general’s office responded by asking Judge Hiram E. Puig-Lugo to reconsider.

His second ruling issued Monday was essentially the same as the first, namely that Amazon used a smart business strategy that showed no evidence of violating any laws.

“The problem with the complaint was that the District recited conclusory statements while failing to identify information which supported the conclusions it reached,” Puig-Lugo wrote in his 18-page order. “The mere repetition of conclusions does not convert conclusions into facts.”


The judge said the attorney general failed to show Amazon forced competitors like Walmart, Costco or Target to raise their retail prices or prevented them from matching Amazon’s prices.

The lawsuit had argued that “there is a dangerous possibility” Amazon would gain an e-commerce monopoly because it controls half to 70% of online sales.

Puig-Lugo disagreed, writing that “merely controlling a dominant share of the market does not satisfy pleading requirements for antitrust actions, particularly in pandemic times when online delivery sales have increased. In any event, sellers are free to migrate to other online platforms as market dynamics continue to unfold.”

The attorney general’s office said it was considering the possibility of an appeal.

“We are disappointed in the court’s decision and we respectfully believe that the judge got this wrong,” a statement from the attorney general’s office said. “Indeed, a recent federal court decision analyzed a nearly identical issue and rejected Amazon’s request to dismiss that case.”


The case is District of Columbia v. Amazon.com Inc., case number 2021 CA 001775 B, in Washington, D.C. Superior Court.

Tom can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @tramstack.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Antitrust

August 3, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
DC Attorney General Loses Again in Antitrust Claims Against Amazon

WASHINGTON — Washington, D.C.’s attorney general lost again Monday in an attempt to hold Amazon.com liable for alleged antitrust violations.... Read More

WASHINGTON — Washington, D.C.’s attorney general lost again Monday in an attempt to hold Amazon.com liable for alleged antitrust violations. Attorney General Karl A. Racine filed an anti-competition lawsuit last year that accused Amazon of unfair trade practices that included using overly restrictive contracts with businesses... Read More

July 28, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
Bipartisan Policy Center Digs Into Proposed Tech Antitrust Law

WASHINGTON — The proposed antitrust legislation aimed at large online companies in the Senate hinges on the courts to enforce... Read More

WASHINGTON — The proposed antitrust legislation aimed at large online companies in the Senate hinges on the courts to enforce the potential law to stop big online platforms from self-preferencing by placing their products and services first, which will open up platforms to more competition. While... Read More

June 2, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Amazon Ramps Up Criticism of Tough Antitrust Bill in Congress

WASHINGTON — Industry criticism of a tough antitrust bill to crack down on the market dominance of tech giants is... Read More

WASHINGTON — Industry criticism of a tough antitrust bill to crack down on the market dominance of tech giants is growing more shrill as it heads for a vote in Congress as soon as this month. The latest salvo was Wednesday, when an Amazon.com executive warned... Read More

March 29, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
Europe Takes Steps to Regulate Large Social Media and SEO Companies

STRASBOURG, France — Seeing ads of the item you just looked at on another website or Apple’s blue texts versus... Read More

STRASBOURG, France — Seeing ads of the item you just looked at on another website or Apple’s blue texts versus “ordinary” green texts on iPhones may be a thing of the past come October, if European Union legislators pass a newly unveiled antitrust law that seeks... Read More

December 6, 2021
by Dan McCue
Congressional Democrats Raised Concerns Over WarnerMedia/Discovery Merger

WASHINGTON — House and Senate Democrats on Monday raised their objections to the pending $43 billion merger of WarnerMedia and... Read More

WASHINGTON — House and Senate Democrats on Monday raised their objections to the pending $43 billion merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, arguing it will hurt the Hollywood jobs market and squelch diversity in the entertainment workforce. In a letter sent Monday to Attorney General Merrick Garland... Read More

November 22, 2021
by Kate Michael
Klobuchar Weighs in on CAP’s New Report on Tech Regulation

WASHINGTON — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has been on a crusade for swift and sweeping reform of Big Tech platforms,... Read More

WASHINGTON — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has been on a crusade for swift and sweeping reform of Big Tech platforms, introducing a number of bills and even publishing a book titled “Antitrust” that looks at the history of policy toward trusts and monopolies and details how... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top