FTC: Andy Jassy, Jeff Bezos must testify after appeal rejected #news

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are ordering Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassy to testify within the executive’s investigation of Amazon Prime, rejecting the corporate’s grievance that the executives are being unfairly burdened within the probe of the preferred streaming and buying groceries carrier.

The Federal Trade Commission issued an order overdue Wednesday denying Amazon’s request to cancel civil subpoenas despatched in June to Bezos, the Seattle-based corporate’s former CEO, and Jassy. The order additionally units a closing date of Jan. 20 for the final touch of all testimony by way of Bezos, Jassy and 15 different senior executives, who additionally have been subpoenaed.

Jassy took over the helm of the net retail and tech large from Bezos, one of the most global’s richest people, in July 2021. Bezos turned into govt chairman.

Amazon hasn’t made the case that the subpoenas “present undue burdens in terms of scope or timing,” FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson stated within the order on behalf of the company. However, the FTC did agreed to switch some provisions of the subpoenas that it said seemed too wide.

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

The corporate stated it used to be dissatisfied however no longer shocked that the FTC most commonly dominated in prefer of its personal place, nevertheless it used to be happy that the company “walked backed its broadest requests” within the subpoenas.

“Amazon has cooperated with the FTC throughout the investigation and already produced tens of thousands of pages of documents,” the corporate stated in a commentary. “We are committed to engaging constructively with FTC staff, but we remain concerned that the latest requests are overly broad and needlessly burdensome, and we will explore all our options.”

In a petition to the FTC filed ultimate month, the corporate objected to the subpoenas to Bezos and Jassy, pronouncing the company “has identified no legitimate reason for needing their testimony when it can obtain the same information, and more, from other witnesses and documents.” Amazon stated the FTC used to be hounding Bezos, Jassy and the opposite executives, calling the ideas demanded within the subpoenas “overly broad and burdensome.”

The investigation has widened to incorporate no less than 4 different Amazon-owned subscription techniques: Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Unlimited and Subscribe & Save, in addition to an unidentified third-party program no longer introduced by way of Amazon. The regulators have requested the corporate to spot the selection of customers who have been enrolled within the techniques with out giving their consent, amongst different buyer knowledge.

With an estimated 150 million U.S. subscribers, Amazon Prime is a key income, as well as a wealth of customer data, for the corporate, which runs an e-commerce empire and ventures in cloud computing, non-public “smart” tech and past. Amazon Prime prices $139 a yr. The carrier added a coveted function this yr by way of acquiring unique video rights to the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football.”

Last yr, Amazon asked unsuccessfully that FTC Chair Lina Khan step aside from separate antitrust investigations into its industry, contending that her public grievance of the corporate’s marketplace energy earlier than she joined the federal government makes it not possible for her to be independent. Khan used to be a fierce critic of tech giants Facebook (now Meta), Google and Apple, in addition to Amazon. She arrived at the antitrust scene in 2017, writing an influential learn about titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” when she used to be a Yale regulation scholar.

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