AG says he forced Amazon to shut down “unlawful price-fixing” program

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Amazon must shut down the price-fixing program known as "Sold by Amazon" (SBA) under a legally binding resolution announced today by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Amazon had already suspended the program amid an investigation, but the settlement prevents the program from being restarted.

"The 'Sold by Amazon' program allowed the online retailer to agree on price with third-party sellers, rather than compete with them," the announcement said. Ferguson alleged that Amazon violated antitrust laws by "unreasonably restrain[ing] competition in order to maximize its own profits off third-party sales" and that "this conduct constituted unlawful price-fixing."

Ferguson filed a lawsuit against Amazon and the consent decree in King County Superior Court today.

"As part of the legally enforceable consent decree, Amazon must stop the 'Sold by Amazon' program nationwide and provide the Attorney General's Office with annual updates on its compliance with antitrust laws," Ferguson's announcement said. Amazon will also pay $2.25 million that the AG's office will use to support antitrust enforcement. The requirement for Amazon to provide annual updates lasts five years.