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FTC says Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft made 819 unreported acquisition deals of $1M+, including for patents and acquihires, from 2010 to 2019.

The US Federal Trade Commission has overhauled its antitrust investigation into Amazon.com Inc., shaking the team of investigators interviewing witnesses who may be a threat and asking questions regarding Amazon.com’s recent acquisition from MGM Studios, three people who have been involved in the probe told.

This agency is looking into Amazon since the beginning of 2019 to address concerns about antitrust in its retail business as well as cloud-based computing. Lina Khan who was appointed the head of the agency in January was a household name for herself through an original legal document on Amazon’s potential antitrust violations. has expressed a personal interest in the investigation.

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The case is assigned to John Newman, an antitrust professor and former Justice Department prosecutor, who joined the FTC as vice director in December. He has changed the way the team is investigating Amazon after taking over the case according to those who asked not to be named when discussing details that are not public.

The agency has declined to discuss the new organization. Amazon hasn’t responded to a request for comments.

Trump Focus

Under the presidency of president Donald Trump, the FTC decided to focus its antitrust investigation of Facebook and assigned just two lawyers for the Amazon investigation, two of whom have said.

Prior to joining the FTC after graduation from Columbia Law School, Khan worked as a staffer on the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee that was investigating for 16 months the activities of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon, Apple Inc., and Meta Platforms Inc. Khan focused on the Google section of what ultimately was the panel’s report of 449 pages and an FTC staffer assigned to the committee a portion of the Amazon section.

The report was released in October of 2020, however, at the time of the summer, the FTC investigation had not uncovered any new ground in comparison to the recommendations by the report of Congress two of the individuals said.

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When he took the reins of FTC, Khan helped draft some questions to investigators, one of the individuals claimed. Since the time, FTC lawyers have homed on particular areas of the investigation that involve Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing business of the company that is lucrative as well as an $8.45 billion MGM acquisition.

Amazon has announced that in March, it was closing its acquisition of the film studio after the FTC’s review of the deal ended without a contest.

The FTC did not make a formal comment on the deal, but made a statement stating that stated that it “does not approve of transactions and can challenge a deal at any time should it finds that it violates any law.”

FTC attorneys have asked questions regarding the MGM deal’s effect on Amazon’s video streaming services, Amazon Prime, two of the respondents said.

Khan Opposition

Amazon has sought to exclude Khan by arguing that her work experience could prevent her from being involved in any FTC lawsuits against Amazon. Similar attempts to rescind her involvement with Facebook were denied by the FTC and a federal judge in charge of the FTC’s lawsuit against the company.

The FTC isn’t the only one that is focusing on Amazon. Responding to an antitrust price-fixing investigation conducted by an investigation by the Washington prosecutor general the state of Amazon accepted a $2.25 million penalty in January and ended the program where it reached an agreement on prices with third-party sellers instead of competing with them.

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Karl Racine, the attorney general for the District of Columbia, sued Amazon last year, alleging the online retailer encourages higher-than-necessary consumer prices through policies that guarantee the tech giant a minimum profit on each item sold while discouraging merchants on the site from offering their products at lower prices elsewhere.

A Superior Court judge dismissed the lawsuit in March, however, DC appealed with help of The Biden administration. European regulatory authorities have also been investigating how the giant e-commerce handles sellers on its platform.

Ru
Ru
Ru is driven by the desire to inspire others about life and happiness. Before her infamous writing career, she consumed a lot of digital content and became an overachiever. When she is not writing, you can find her under the stars with her best friend Guitar. She's also a Nutritionist who is here to tell you some mind-blowing facts about your tasty food.

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