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Jeff Bezos, Andy Jassy Ordered by US FTC to Testify in Amazon Prime Investigation

Federal regulators are ordering Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassy to testify within the authorities’s investigation of Amazon Prime, rejecting the corporate’s criticism that the executives are being unfairly harassed within the probe of the favored streaming and buying service.

The Federal Commerce Fee issued an order late Wednesday denying Amazon’s request to cancel civil subpoenas despatched in June to Bezos, the Seattle-based firm’s former CEO, and Jassy. The order additionally units a deadline of Jan. 20 for the completion of all testimony by Bezos, Jassy and 15 different senior executives, who additionally had been subpoenaed.

Jassy took over the helm of the net retail and tech big from Bezos, one of many world’s richest people, in July 2021. Bezos grew to become government chairman.

Amazon hasn’t made the case that the subpoenas “current undue burdens by way of scope or timing,” FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson mentioned within the order on behalf of the company. Nonetheless, the FTC did agreed to switch some provisions of the subpoenas that it acknowledged appeared too broad.

The FTC has been investigating since March 2021 the sign-up and cancellation practices of Amazon Prime, which has an estimated 200 million members across the globe.

The corporate mentioned it was disenchanted however not stunned that the FTC principally dominated in favor of its personal place, nevertheless it was happy that the company “walked backed its broadest requests” within the subpoenas.

“Amazon has cooperated with the FTC all through the investigation and already produced tens of 1000’s of pages of paperwork,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement. “We’re dedicated to partaking constructively with FTC workers, however we stay involved that the most recent requests are overly broad and needlessly burdensome, and we are going to discover all our choices.”

In a petition to the FTC filed final month, the corporate objected to the subpoenas to Bezos and Jassy, saying the company “has recognized no legit motive for needing their testimony when it could actually acquire the identical data, and extra, from different witnesses and paperwork.” Amazon mentioned the FTC was hounding Bezos, Jassy and the opposite executives, calling the knowledge demanded within the subpoenas “overly broad and burdensome.”

The investigation has widened to incorporate at the very least 4 different Amazon-owned subscription applications: Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Limitless, and Subscribe & Save, in addition to an unidentified third-party program not provided by Amazon. The regulators have requested the corporate to establish the variety of customers who had been enrolled within the applications with out giving their consent, amongst different buyer data.

With an estimated 150 million US subscribers, Amazon Prime is a key income, in addition to a wealth of buyer knowledge, for the corporate, which runs an e-commerce empire and ventures in cloud computing, private “sensible” tech and past. Amazon Prime prices $139 a 12 months. The service added a coveted characteristic this 12 months by acquiring unique video rights to the NFL’s “Thursday Evening Soccer.”

Final 12 months, Amazon requested unsuccessfully that FTC Chair Lina Khan step other than separate antitrust investigations into its enterprise, contending that her public criticism of the corporate’s market energy earlier than she joined the federal government makes it unimaginable for her to be neutral. Khan was a fierce critic of tech giants Fb (now Meta), Google and Apple, in addition to Amazon. She arrived on the antitrust scene in 2017, writing an influential examine titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” when she was a Yale regulation scholar.

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