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FTC Can Force Amazon's Bezos and Jassy to Testify in Probe

Amazon.com Inc. has been unsuccessful in its attempt to keep top executives, including billionaire founder Jeff Bezos and Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy, from having to testify in a Federal Trade Commission probe.

September 22, 2022
4 minutes
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Amazon.com Inc. has been unsuccessful in its attempt to keep top executives, including billionaire founder Jeff Bezos and Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy, from having to testify in a Federal Trade Commission probe.

The company filed a petition with the FTC last month, arguing that the agency’s information and interview requests were “unduly burdensome.” The company stated that it had already provided a large amount of information to the FTC, and that the agency’s requests were excessive.

The FTC has rejected a request from two executives to be exempt from interviews and sworn testimony as part of an ongoing probe. In an order published late on Wednesday, the FTC said that the executives could be interviewed as part of the probe, but extended the time period for when sworn testimony could occur.

The FTC said in its decision that Amazon has not provided any reason why the Commission should accept anything less than all the relevant testimony from these two witnesses.

Amazon has accused the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of harassing CEO Jeff Bezos in what the company calls an "burdensome" investigation.In a filing with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Amazon said the FTC has been "unreasonably" demanding information and documents from the company as part of an antitrust probe."The FTC's investigation is burdensome and is causing significant disruption to Amazon's business," the company said in the filing.Amazon also accused the FTC of leaking information about the probe to the media, which the company said has "harmed Amazon's reputation.""The FTC's investigation is burdensome and is causing significant disruption to Amazon's business." This is according to a filing the company made with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

The company went on to say that the FTC has been "unreasonably" demanding information and documents from Amazon.com as part of an antitrust probe. Amazon feels that the FTC is not only wasting their time, but harming their reputation by leaking information about the probe to the media.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been investigating Amazon for potential anticompetitive conduct for several years. The agency opened an investigation into Amazon Prime last year, investigating whether the subscription service may have violated consumer protection laws. The FTC has both antitrust and consumer protection mandates, and its investigation into Amazon Prime is ongoing.

The Biden administration has made antitrust enforcement a key priority in its economic policy, seeking to reverse what antitrust officials view as decades of lax oversight over corporate consolidation and market power.

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Adan Harris
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