Amazon.com Inc. lost a bid to exclude top executives including billionaire founder Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassy from having to testify in a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) probe.
The company filed a petition with the FTC last month, arguing that the agency’s information and interview requests were “unduly burdensome.”
In an order published late on Sept. 21, the FTC rejected that request. It said the two executives could be interviewed as part of a probe, though it extended the time period for when sworn testimony could occur.
“Amazon provides no reason why the Commission must accept anything less than all the relevant testimony it can obtain from these two witnesses,” the FTC said in its decision.
The FTC has both antitrust and consumer protection mandates. It has been investigating Amazon for potential anticompetitive conduct for several years. The agency opened an investigation into Amazon Prime last year. It has been investigating whether the subscription service may have violated consumer protection laws.
The Biden administration has stepped up antitrust enforcement as a keystone of its economic policy. It seeks to reverse what antitrust officials view as decades of lax oversight over corporate consolidation and market power.
Amazon ranks No. 1 in Digital Commerce 360’s Top 1000 database. It tracks North America’s largest online retailers by web sales.
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