California files antitrust lawsuit against Amazon

STORY: Amazon keeps prices “artificially high.”

That is what the state of California alleges in a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the world's largest online retailer.

The lawsuit argues that the company violates antitrust law by blocking price competition and pushing up prices for consumers.

California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta said Amazon's rules bar merchants from selling products at lower prices on their own websites or at the stores of Amazon's rivals.

Adding quote:

“Through its actions, the everything store has effectively set a price floor, costing Californians more for pretty much everything"

In response, an Amazon spokesman said the lawsuit should be dismissed, adding (quote) - the California Attorney General has it exactly backwards. Sellers set their own prices for the products they offer in our store.

Amazon grew even bigger during the health crisis, with over 200 million users as Prime members - paying for faster shipping and other benefits.

In its lawsuit, Bonta's office asked the court to prohibit Amazon from enforcing Amazon contracts that bar the sale of goods more cheaply elsewhere and to pay damages and penalties.

Washington, D.C., filed a similar lawsuit against Amazon in May 2021.

Amazon won dismissal of it earlier this year.

The California lawsuit is based on different laws.

Amazon offered to make changes to stave off California's lawsuit, but Bonta deemed them unsatisfactory.