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FTC: Andy Jassy, Jeff Bezos should testify after enchantment rejected

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

The Federal Commerce Fee issued an order late Wednesday denying Amazon’s request to cancel civil subpoenas despatched in June to Bezos, the Seattle-based firm’s former CEO, and Jassy. The order additionally units a deadline of Jan. 20 for the completion of all testimony by Bezos, Jassy and 15 different senior executives, who additionally had been subpoenaed.

Jassy took over the helm of the net retail and tech large from Bezos, one of many world’s richest people, in July 2021. Bezos grew to become government chairman.

Amazon hasn’t made the case that the subpoenas “current undue burdens by way of scope or timing,” FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson mentioned within the order on behalf of the company. Nevertheless, the FTC did agreed to change some provisions of the subpoenas that it acknowledged appeared too broad.

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

The corporate mentioned it was upset however not stunned that the FTC principally dominated in favor of its personal place, however it was happy that the company “walked backed its broadest requests” within the subpoenas.

“Amazon has cooperated with the FTC all through the investigation and already produced tens of hundreds of pages of paperwork,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement. “We’re dedicated to partaking constructively with FTC employees, however we stay involved that the newest requests are overly broad and needlessly burdensome, and we are going to discover all our choices.”

In a petition to the FTC filed final month, the corporate objected to the subpoenas to Bezos and Jassy, saying the company “has recognized no legit purpose for needing their testimony when it could actually receive the identical info, and extra, from different witnesses and paperwork.” Amazon mentioned the FTC was hounding Bezos, Jassy and the opposite executives, calling the data demanded within the subpoenas “overly broad and burdensome.”

The investigation has widened to incorporate at the least 4 different Amazon-owned subscription packages: Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Limitless and Subscribe & Save, in addition to an unidentified third-party program not supplied by Amazon. The regulators have requested the corporate to establish the variety of customers who had been enrolled within the packages with out giving their consent, amongst different buyer info.

With an estimated 150 million U.S. subscribers, Amazon Prime is a key income, in addition to a wealth of buyer knowledge, for the corporate, which runs an e-commerce empire and ventures in cloud computing, private “sensible” tech and past. Amazon Prime prices $139 a yr. The service added a coveted characteristic this yr by acquiring unique video rights to the NFL’s “Thursday Evening Soccer.”

Final yr, Amazon requested unsuccessfully that FTC Chair Lina Khan step apart from separate antitrust investigations into its enterprise, contending that her public criticism of the corporate’s market energy earlier than she joined the federal government makes it unattainable for her to be neutral. Khan was a fierce critic of tech giants Fb (now Meta), Google and Apple, in addition to Amazon. She arrived on the antitrust scene in 2017, writing an influential examine titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” when she was a Yale regulation scholar.

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