Amazon fell into the FTC’s net

Amazon fell into the FTC’s net

2. November 2023 0 By Horst Buchwald

Amazon fell into the FTC’s net

Washington, November 2, 2023

US antitrust regulators have accused Amazon of making over $1 billion in additional profits through a hidden algorithm that controls prices. The algorithm, called “Project Nessie,” was detailed in a new, less redacted version of the FTC’s antitrust case against Amazon.

The FTC’s complaint, filed in September, accuses Amazon of anti-competitive practices, including concealing offers of lower prices and forcing high fees on sellers.

According to the less redacted complaint, Amazon deployed an internal algorithm that increased prices for products on Amazon and monitored whether other retailers, such as Walmart, would do the same.

As competitors adjusted or increased prices, Amazon continued to sell at higher prices. Otherwise, the algorithm would reset the Amazon listing to its original price.

The FTC accused Amazon of taking over $1 billion from consumers. While Amazon stopped using Nessie in 2019, the FTC said Amazon could restore it at any time.

In another allegation in the complaint, the FTC accused Amazon founder Jeff Bezos of encouraging executives to accept low-quality “junk” ads to increase profits, even if it made it harder for shoppers to find products.

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