Despite the Federal Trade Commission’s determination, an Amazon FTC case trial date will be unlikely before 2026. Those details and more appeared in a joint status report filed Dec. 15.
The two parties in the antitrust case at least agreed on the year that they could be prepared to argue in court. However, Amazon indicated that it would need more time than the government requested to be fully ready. Assuming that the case goes to trial at all, the FTC and 17 state attorneys general want to begin in May 2026. Meanwhile, Amazon has asserted that it will not be prepared until December of that year.
FTC and attorneys general push for May start
“Plaintiffs’ proposed schedule would allow the Court to set this case for trial starting in May 2026, which balances the strong public interest in the speedy resolution of this case with sufficient time for the parties to conduct fact discovery, exchange expert reports and take expert depositions, brief dispositive and Daubert motions, and prepare this case for trial,” the FTC’s side explained in the joint filing.
In regards to Amazon’s proposed timetable, the plaintiffs do not believe the company’s stated needs are realistic.
“Amazon’s inefficient proposal would be more burdensome for government plaintiffs and the Court and could unnecessarily delay the progress of this case,” the government’s side asserted.
Amazon’s motion to dismiss
Amazon’s preferred next step will be to have the case dismissed. The company filed its motion to dismiss on Dec. 8.
“Amazon competes every minute of every day with thousands of online and brick-and-mortar retailers,” the company argued in that filing. “To meet that competition, Amazon has relentlessly innovated, delivering previously unimagined benefits for consumers and pushing competitors to do likewise, all to make every penny of a consumer’s purchase count for more.”
The company is seeking a dismissal of the case on multiple grounds. Among the reasons, it assesses that its stated benefits to consumers mean it should not be the target of antitrust action.
“Amazon promptly matches rivals’ discounts, features competitively priced deals rather than overpriced ones, and ensures best-in-class delivery for its Prime subscribers,” the motion to dismiss claimed. “Those practices — the targets of this antitrust Complaint — benefit consumers and are the essence of competition.”
Ultimately, Amazon maintained that “[a]ntitrust law does not seek to punish economic behavior that benefits consumers.” In both the Dec. 8 and Dec. 15 filings, it referred to the FTC’s interpretation of antitrust law as “novel.”
Disagreement over the timeline
“If this case is not dismissed, Amazon anticipates that discovery will be needed regarding all of Plaintiffs’ claims and all of Amazon’s anticipated defenses,” the Seattle-based ecommerce giant wrote in its positions within the filing.
Fundamentally, Amazon maintained that a May 2026 start date would not be adequate.
“Plaintiffs’ proposed schedule does not provide sufficient time for discovery and pretrial proceedings given the extensive discovery that Plaintiffs claim they should be entitled to take,” Amazon’s position stated in the Dec. 15 filing.
Additionally, Amazon contested multiple FTC-side proposals, among them the number of hours needed for depositions, which the company called “one-sided and prejudicial to Amazon.”
“Plaintiffs propose that each side be allowed to take 630 hours of party depositions,” Amazon summarized. “That is the equivalent of 90 seven-hour depositions of Amazon.”
In practice, that requirement would be “contrary to the Federal Rules” and “unduly burdensome in light of the voluminous discovery available to Plaintiffs,” according to Amazon.
The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge John H. Chun in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
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