In context: It is no secret that FTC Chair Lena Khan doesn’t like Amazon. Her educational article “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” makes it abundantly clear that she views the corporate as a monopoly or, on the very least, a possible antitrust fiasco. Amazon has taken challenge over her stance on a number of events. Its newest authorized wrangling says her serving of CIDs to executives and requires particular person hearings are nothing however “burdensome harassment” within the FTC’s broad-scoped “open-ended” investigation into Amazon Prime.

This week the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) launched an August 5 submitting by Amazon that appears to excuse former CEO Jeff Bezos and present CEO Andy Jassy from supplying testimony in an investigation. The authorized crew calls the probe “burdensome” and says that the civil investigative calls for (CIDs) served to Bezos and Jassy had been meant to harass the executives.

The movement seeks to quash or restrict the “Particular person CIDs.” Amazon feels that holding particular person hearings (IHs) for every govt is pointless and wouldn’t be conducive to the invention course of. The attorneys contend that Bezos and Jassy don’t have any “distinctive information” of the issues at hand. That’s to say that the FTC would get no helpful info from them that it couldn’t collect from different personnel or departments at Amazon.

Moreover, Amazon counsel feels that the CID’s “open-ended” listing of questions falls properly outdoors the probe’s scope.

“Employees’s demand that Mr. Bezos and Mr. Jassy testify at an IH (particular person listening to) on an open-ended listing of matters on which they don’t have any distinctive information is grossly unreasonable, unduly burdensome, and calculated to serve no different objective than to harass Amazon’s highest-ranking executives and disrupt its enterprise operations,” the submitting reads.

The doc doesn’t go into specifics, however Bloomberg notes that the investigation started again in March 2021 when the FTC started wanting into the enrollment and cancelation processes for Amazon Prime. Then in June 2022, it expanded the probe to incorporate 5 unrelated subscription companies, considered one of which is operated by a third-party supplier however is facilitated by means of Amazon.

“The June 2022 CID is unworkable and unfair, reflecting much less of a accountable effort to gather the details about a wide range of longstanding and extremely well-liked subscription packages than a one-sided effort to drive Amazon to fulfill impossible-to-satisfy calls for,” the attorneys mentioned. “The June 2022 CID ‘goes past Prime sign-up and cancellation to brush in a minimum of 5 extra subscription packages, every with their very own distinctive details, historical past, and personnel.”

The broad scope and complexity of the inquiries led the authorized crew to conclude that no witnesses could possibly be moderately ready to assist in the invention course of in particular person hearings. Thus, the FTC’s CIDs solely quantity to the harassment of employees.

Whether or not the movement to quash will likely be granted stays to be seen. These challenges are routine in conditions like this and infrequently solely purchase the defendant extra time to organize.

Final yr, Amazon filed a movement demanding that newly appointed FTC Chair Lina Khan recuse herself from any proceedings towards Amazon on the grounds that she is biased and seeks to interrupt up the corporate she views as a monopoly by any means. That petition was denied.



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