FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For media inquiries, please contact: Reggie Rucker, ILSR Communications Director
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 21, 2023) – The following statement was issued by Stacy Mitchell, Co-Executive Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, in response to the Federal Trade Commission’s Lawsuit against Amazon for enrolling consumers into its Prime program “without their consent while knowingly making it difficult for consumers to cancel their subscriptions“:
“The evidence presented in this lawsuit reveals Amazon’s utter contempt for its customers and demonstrates its drive to monopolize the online market by whatever means necessary — including through manipulative and illegal tactics.
We applaud the FTC for taking this step, and we look forward to more action by the agency to break Amazon’s stranglehold over the online market and safeguard our democracy from dangerous accumulations of economic power.
This suit strikes at a key linchpin in Amazon’s monopolization strategy. Research shows Prime members default to shopping on Amazon. By duping people into signing up for Prime, and blocking the exits when they try to cancel, Amazon has sought to maintain its position as a gatekeeper for online shopping. And through inducing most U.S. households to subscribe to Prime, Amazon has ensured that competing retailers and brands have little choice but to sell on its platform if they want to reach people online.
Last year, Amazon exploited this chokehold by extracting more than $155 billion in fees from these companies — an extraordinary measure of its monopoly power.”
ILSR has been at the forefront of researching Amazon’s abusive monopoly tactics for over a decade, which led the New York Times to classify the small Portland, Maine office that housed Mitchell in 2020 as “a headquarters of the budding Amazon resistance.” The following materials underscore Amazon’s abusive tactics.
Dive deeper into Amazon’s exploitation with the 2021 report, Amazon’s Toll Road, which explores the steep and growing fees on third-party sellers that enables Amazon to absorb massive, predatory losses designed to lock in market control and fund breakneck expansion.
About the Institute for Local Self-Reliance
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national nonprofit research and educational organization founded in 1974. ILSR has a vision of thriving, diverse, equitable communities. To reach this vision, we build local power to fight corporate control. We believe that democracy can only thrive when economic and political power is widely dispersed. Whether it’s fighting back against the outsize power of monopolies like Amazon or advocating to keep local renewable energy in the community that produced it, ILSR advocates for solutions that harness the power of citizens and communities.
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