Attorneys Suing Amazon for Price-Gouging Praise D.C. AG’s Efforts
WASHINGTON DC – Consumer-rights attorneys at Hagens Berman sued Amazon for price-gouging in 2020, and are now throwing their support behind Washington, D.C. attorney general Karl Racine, who has followed in the firm’s footsteps.
“We are pleased to see D.C.’s attorney general has joined the fight we started in April 2020 over Amazon’s unlawful tactics that have greatly harmed consumers,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney for consumers in the class action. “The proposed class action we filed in 2020 has paved the way for additional antitrust actions against Amazon, and we believe consumers will see the benefit of that.”
Since Hagens Berman’s class-action lawsuit against Amazon, defendants in the case filed a motion to dismiss which has been fully briefed since December 2020.
The AG’s newest endeavor against the tech giant includes no new allegations that were not already in Hagens Berman’s case.
About the Consumer Class Action vs. Amazon
Hagens Berman’s antitrust class action against Amazon was filed March 19, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, and accused the world’s largest retailer, Amazon.com, of violating federal antitrust price-fixing laws, causing consumers everywhere to pay artificially increased prices for products purchased via online retailers across the internet.
If you purchased any product from an online retailer other than Amazon that is also listed for sale on Amazon.com, find out more about the lawsuit and your rights.
Amazon operates as a seller, and as what economists call a “two-sided platform,” meaning it provides services to two different groups: third-party sellers and their customers.
For a fee, Amazon permits third parties to register with Amazon Marketplace to sell products on Amazon.com to use its platform in tandem with Amazon. This arrangement gives sellers access to millions of buyers and buyers access to millions of sellers via Amazon's controlled platform.
As a retailer, Amazon competes not only with major online or mobile app retail rivals like Costco, Wayfair or Home Depot, but also with its own hosted third-party sellers, who are contractually authorized to sell their wares on the Amazon.com platform.
But selling on Amazon comes with certain restrictions. When a seller registers with Amazon Marketplace, it agrees to the terms of the Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement (BSA) and the policies incorporated in that agreement, which establishes rules for setting prices on Amazon's platform.
Amazon's restrictions on sellers using its platform included restrictions on the price of products offered for sale on the seller's channels, or its affiliates' channels, or physical stores, meaning if a retailer listed an item for sale on Amazon's Marketplace for a certain price, they were barred from changing that price anywhere else, including on their own website, or in their own physical stores. This gives Amazon an unprecedented control over pricing beyond its own platform. We believe this violates antitrust laws and harms consumers by artificially setting prices.
Find out more about the class-action lawsuit against Amazon for price-gouging.
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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm operating in 10 cities worldwide. The firm’s tenacious drive for plaintiffs’ rights has earned it numerous national accolades, awards and titles of “Most Feared Plaintiff’s Firm,” MVPs and Trailblazers of class-action law. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.