Did you purchase a product online from Amazon since 2016? You may have overpaid due to Amazon’s allegedly deceptive Buy Box algorithm. Find out your consumer rights »
WHAT’S THE ISSUE?
Hagens Berman’s consumer rights legal team filed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon accusing the world’s largest online retailer of violating state consumer protection laws through the alleged use of a biased algorithm. The lawsuit states that Amazon’s algorithm determines which offers are displayed to shoppers via its Buy Box. The Buy Box contains “Buy Now” and “Add to Cart” buttons that allow consumers to purchase the item in question. Nearly every time, consumers use this interface to finalize their one-click purchase. The lawsuit claims the algorithm frequently overlooks lower priced product offers in favor of offers that will earn Amazon the highest fees, even when those offers are not the best deals for its customers.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M AFFECTED?
If you purchased a product from Amazon Marketplace since 2016, you may have been affected by Amazon’s alleged conduct and may have paid more for items that were available at a lower price. In 2020, Amazon sold almost 92 million unique products across virtually every conceivable category to U.S. consumers, and it is estimated that the proposed class comprises hundreds of millions of people.
ABOUT AMAZON’S BUY BOX ALGORITHM
According to the lawsuit, Amazon uses a proprietary algorithm to rank search results whenever a consumer searches for a product in its Marketplace. The “winning,” or first-ranked item in the search results, will typically appear in the “Buy Box,” the featured offer in the product search results that allows the consumer to purchase the product without selecting a particular seller or retail offering. By choosing the option in the Buy Box, the consumer does not select a specific seller but rather buys the product directly from whichever seller Amazon’s algorithm privileges.
Overwhelmingly—about 98% of the time—consumers accept Amazon’s recommendation and purchase through the Buy Box. The lawsuit alleges that the algorithm frequently steers consumers towards products that are more profitable for Amazon while obscuring other, often more affordable options, thus causing consumers to pay more for products than they would otherwise pay without the Buy Box algorithm.
“Consumers reasonably believe that the Buy Box price is the best price available in the marketplace for a given item. But they are often wrong,” the lawsuit states. “The Buy Box algorithm is biased in favor of Amazon first-party retail offers or offers from third-party sellers who participate in Fulfillment By Amazon…”
AMAZON SEARCH RANK ALGORITHM FACES SCRUTINY FROM EU REGULATORY BODIES
An investigation by the EU Commission found that Amazon’s Buy Box algorithm was anticompetitive. Hagens Berman EMEA, a UK law firm affiliated with Hagens Berman, has succeeded in rigorously demonstrating to the court that it should carry the case forward to certification against Amazon in the U.K. and believes that aggregate damages in that case could be between £1.221 billion and £1.361 billion.
HOW CAN A CLASS ACTION HELP?
We believe Amazon may have exploited its customers to maintain its leadership position as the world’s largest retailer. In this investigation, our consumer rights attorneys seek to represent a class of Amazon customers who relied on Amazon’s Buy Box to display the most affordable option. A class-action lawsuit makes it easier for a group of similarly affected individuals to bring powerful force against a major company.
TOP CONSUMER RIGHTS LAW FIRM
Hagens Berman is one of the most successful consumer litigation law firms in the US and has achieved more than $320 billion in settlements for consumers in lawsuits against Big Tech, retailers, food corporations, automakers, big banks and others. The firm is currently leading multiple antitrust cases against Amazon on behalf of its customers, and the firm has achieved many record-breaking victories in matters benefitting consumers. Your claim will be handled by attorneys experienced in consumer law. The firm is also affiliated with Hagens Berman EMEA, a UK law which has succeeded in rigorously demonstrating to the court that it should carry the case forward to certification against Amazon in the U.K.
NO COST TO YOU
There is no cost or fee whatsoever involved in joining this case. In the event Hagens Berman or any other firm obtains a settlement that provides benefits to class members, the court will decide a reasonable fee to be awarded to the class's legal team. In no case will any class member ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum.