The Federal Trade Commission under chair Lina Khan is gearing up to file a “far-reaching” antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, according to a new Bloomberg report.
The FTC is expected to file the suit in the coming weeks, which sources tell Bloomberg will allege the tech giant pressures online merchants to use its in-house logistics service by rewarding those who do use it and punishing those who don’t.
Khan has been an outspoken advocate for antitrust enforcement of Big Tech since her appointment as FTC chair in mid-2021. As she outlined in her vision for the agency’s consumer protection mission, the FTC would be taking “a holistic approach to identifying harms” that attacked root causes of corporate behaviors that negatively impacted consumers.
Despite Amazon accusing Khan of bias for publishing a widely-cited essay about the tech company and antitrust while at Yale Law School, she has guided the agency to file several consumer protection lawsuits against Amazon since assuming her role at the FTC.
In its consumer protection capacity, Khan’s FTC has also scrutinized Amazon’s acquisitions and mergers, like when it sought to buy Roomba robot vacuum maker iRobot for $1.7 billion last September — a deal that still hasn’t cleared regulators. Most recently, the agency sued Amazon for signing customers up for Prime memberships without their consent, with Khan elaborating in a tweet that the company intentionally obstructed consumers from canceling.
Neither the FTC nor Amazon have responded to a request for comment by time of publication.