District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine (D) on Monday broadened the antitrust lawsuit he filed against Amazon in May, accusing the e-commerce giant of locking owner sellers into anti-competitive deals.
The amended lawsuit filed in DC Superior Court alleges that Amazon required wholesalers to guarantee that the company will make a minimum profit when buying and reselling merchandise.
“Amazon continued to use its dominant position as an online marketplace to rig the system, resulting in higher prices for consumers and less competition between online marketplaces,” Racine said.
Racine’s initial lawsuit in May dealt with Amazon’s treatment of third-party sellers.
The complaint alleges that Amazon charges excessive fees and does not allow these sellers to offer their products elsewhere at lower costs, which ultimately results in higher prices and less choice for consumers.
The amended complaint adds alleged anti-competitive treatment of wholesalers, who sell products to Amazon.
According to Racine’s office, under the company’s minimum margin agreement, Amazon essentially forces owner sellers to make up the difference if the ecommerce platform drops prices to compete with other markets.
These agreements lead wholesalers to artificially increase their prices on online marketplaces and make it difficult for these other platforms to compete with Amazon.
The Hill has contacted Amazon for comment on the amended complaint.