Amazon owner Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassy MUST testify for the FTC probe in its Prime service

The founder and CEO of Amazon.com will either be forced to face allegations of scamming customers into signing up for its Prime service, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said Wednesday, or face federal action.

The announcement comes as the government watchdog continues to probe claims that Amazon illegally pushed its first subscription program to users and blocked them without providing easy ways to cancel its recurring charges.

Now, Jeff Bezos and his chief lieutenant Andy Jassy will face these charges no later than October 7, the agency said, nullifying the online seller’s efforts to exempt the couple from testing in the federal case.

Bezos' chief lieutenant Andy Jassy, ​​who took over the CEO position from Bezos in 2021, will also be forced to testify, the FTC said.

Jeff Bezos and his chief lieutenant Andy Jassy will face allegations that Amazon illegally pushed the membership program without providing easy ways to nullify his recurring allegations no later than October 7, the FTC said Wednesday, or they will face a federal action

The company last month asked the FTC to cancel the subpoenas it had issued to the Bezos – which are worth about $ 145 billion – and to his successor Jassy, ​​who replaced him as CEO just over a year ago.

At the time, Amazon claimed that the powerful couple were unaware of the details of Prime’s registration and deregistration processes, the main focus of the investigation.

Bezos, who is said to be in talks with the Phoenix Suns to buy the NBA team, was seen chatting with NFL commissioner Robert Goodell during the Chiefs-Chargers game in recent weeks in Kansas City, after Amazon took off. Secured rights for exclusive streaming of matches off local broadcast networks to Prime members.

FTC staff launched the sprawling probe in March 2021, examining whether the company received customers with a predatory marketing strategy and a deliberately difficult-to-navigate interface that made it difficult to cancel its Prime service.

He also looked for information that Amazon executives used “ephemeral messaging” – a feature seen in apps like Signal and Telegram that automatically deletes messages once sent – to secretly discuss logging practices.

A Prime membership, which offers user benefits such as free product delivery and access to its vast Prime Video library, costs $ 14.99 per month or $ 139 if users accumulate money for a full year.

A Prime Video subscription by itself manages members $ 8.99 per month.

FTC staff launched the sprawling probe in March 2021, examining whether the company received customers with a predatory marketing strategy and a deliberately difficult-to-navigate interface that made it difficult to cancel its Prime service.

FTC staff launched the sprawling probe in March 2021, examining whether the company received customers with a predatory marketing strategy and a deliberately difficult-to-navigate interface that made it difficult to cancel its Prime service.

On Wednesday, FTC staff determined that both Bezos, 58, and Jassy, ​​54, must comply with the investigative request, also ordering Amazon to comply with a June investigative request that looked for information on other managed subscription programs. from Amazon, such as its ‘Sign Up & Save’ service.

Amazon also rejected this request, arguing that it was too burdensome and exhaustive, compared to the objectives of the ongoing investigation.

At the time, a company representative wrote that both Bezos’ and Jassy’s quotes “have no other purpose than to harass Amazon’s top executives and disrupt its business operations.”

An Amazon spokesperson further said the company partnered with the FTC during the investigation, already forking tens of thousands of pages of confidential internal documents.

“We remain concerned that the latest requests are excessively broad and unnecessarily burdensome, and will explore all of our options,” the company said Wednesday.

The rep added that the company was “disappointed but not surprised that the FTC has largely refused to rule against itself.”

Wednesday's order rejecting Amazon's request was written by Republican Commissioner Christine Wilson (pictured).  Under the commission's rules, Amazon will have the right to challenge its five members' decision to limit - or even nix - the agency's decision.

Wednesday’s order rejecting Amazon’s request was written by Republican Commissioner Christine Wilson (pictured). Under the commission’s rules, Amazon will have the right to challenge its five members’ decision to limit – or even nix – the agency’s decision.

Wednesday’s order rejecting Amazon’s request was written by Republican Commissioner Christine Wilson.

Under the commission’s rules, Amazon will have the right to appeal its five members’ decision to limit – or even deny – the agency’s near-unanimous decision.

Regarding a potential appeal, Amazon wrote in its statement on Wednesday that “we will explore all of our options.”

“We are disappointed but not surprised that the FTC has largely refused to rule against itself, but we are pleased that the agency has supported its broader demands and will allow witnesses to choose their own attorney,” a spokesperson told DailyMail.com in an email.

‘Amazon partnered with the FTC during the investigation and has already produced tens of thousands of pages of documents.

“We are committed to engaging constructively with FTC personnel, but remain concerned that the latest requests are excessively broad and unnecessarily burdensome, and will explore all of our options.”

The three Democrats on the commission also signed Wilson’s order, with the The only other Republican member of the FTC, Noah Phillips, has objected to the matter.

FTC President Lina Khan, the most progressive of the FTC Democrats, has criticized Amazon and other tech companies in the past, prompting the online seller to demand that the official be denied the investigation, a request also denied by the commission.

Khan, who teaches at Columbia Law School, is one of the foremost antitrust thinkers in the United States and has long pushed for stricter antitrust laws or at least stricter enforcement of existing law.

The FTC declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

The recent decision comes amid mounting tensions between Amazon and the FTC, which under the presidency Lina Khan, the most progressive of the FTC Democrats, sought to crack down on the sometimes harmless regulations established on Big Tech.

The recent decision comes amid mounting tensions between Amazon and the FTC, which under the presidency Lina Khan, the most progressive of the FTC Democrats, sought to crack down on the sometimes harmless regulations established on Big Tech.

The recent decision comes amid mounting tensions between Amazon and the FTC, which under the Khan presidency tried to crack down on the sometimes harmless regulations established on Big Tech.

It further reveals the depth of the FTC’s investigation, which has expanded to now cover nearly half a dozen Amazon services, including the Audible audiobook program, Amazon Music, Kindle Unlimited, and Subscribe & Save, a service where users can register for deliveries using a subscription-based model.

The service will automatically charge users on a weekly and monthly basis, such is the pay structure for other services provided by the company and are now under scrutiny.

Amazon will have the option to appeal the decision, but will face the FTC’s order by October 7. Both Bezos and Jassy have yet to comment on the agency’s allegations. The investigation is still ongoing.

Bezos, who has yet to comment on the allegations, was seen chatting with NFL boss Robert Goodell at the Chiefs-Chargers game in Kansas City, after Amazon secured the rights to exclusive streaming of the matches outside the networks. local broadcasting to Prime members

Bezos, who has yet to comment on the allegations, was seen chatting with NFL boss Robert Goodell at the Chiefs-Chargers game in Kansas City, after Amazon secured the rights to exclusive streaming of the matches outside the networks. local broadcasting to Prime members

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