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June 22, 2023

Amazon Faces FTC Lawsuit Over Alleged Deceptive Practices with Prime Subscriptions

Amazon accused of using "manipulative" website designs by the Federal Trade Commission

In the latest development, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is accusing Amazon of manipulating customers into signing up for its Prime subscription service and making it difficult for them to cancel. According to the complaint filed in federal court in Seattle, the FTC claims that Amazon strategically designed its website to nudge customers into unknowingly signing up for Prime subscriptions, with automatic renewals taking place without explicit consent. The agency further alleged that Amazon deliberately made the cancellation process convoluted, subjecting users to a cumbersome "four-page, six-click, fifteen option" ordeal.

FTC Chair Lina Khan expressed her concern, stating, "Amazon tricked and trapped people into recurring subscriptions without their consent, not only frustrating users but also costing them significant money." The FTC seeks a court order to mandate Amazon to amend its practices and is also pursuing financial penalties, the exact amount of which has not been specified.

Amazon, however, vehemently denies the allegations and considers them to be "false on the facts and the law." The company argues that it provides clear and straightforward options for both subscribing to and canceling Prime memberships.

To ensure consumers have fair and transparent markets, the FTC is suing Amazon as part of its broader efforts to promote deceptive practices and combat deceptive practices. The FTC is continuing to enforce regulations and protect online shoppers' rights by imposing regulations on tech giants.

As the legal battle unfolds, the outcome of this case will not only impact Amazon but may also set a precedent for how online businesses handle subscription services and cancellation procedures. The FTC's actions reflect a more assertive approach towards regulating the power wielded by tech industry leaders, aligning with the broader agenda of addressing competition concerns and safeguarding consumer interests in the digital realm.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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