FTC’s Revised Complaint About Amazon Prime Still Doesn’t Hold Water, Says ITIF
WASHINGTON— In response to the FTC’s announcement today that it is amending its complaint against Amazon’s Prime subscription service, ITIF Vice President Daniel Castro issued the following statement:
The FTC’s complaint about Amazon Prime is weak tea. Its primary evidence for the complaint is that it used to take consumers two clicks to sign up for Amazon Prime but six clicks to cancel. The FTC alleges that those extra four clicks amount to illegal manipulation, coercion, and deception. And now the FTC has doubled down on these accusations by adding three Amazon executives to its complaint.
This radical move is a departure from legal norms for this type of civil suit against a large, public company where all the alleged wrongdoing happened in the light of day. Moreover, directly naming these individuals does not strengthen the FTC’s case nor is it necessary to obtain relief. Instead, this revision appears designed purely to target a company that the FTC Chair has repeatedly vilified and to allow the FTC to score a win in the media cycle since it has not been able to do so in the courts.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute focusing on the intersection of technological innovation and public policy. Recognized by its peers in the think tank community as the global center of excellence for science and technology policy, ITIF’s mission is to formulate and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovation and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress.