WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are buying Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassy to testify in the government’s investigation of Amazon Key, rejecting the company’s criticism that the executives are getting unfairly harassed in the probe of the popular streaming and purchasing services.
The Federal Trade Fee issued an order late Wednesday denying Amazon’s request to cancel civil subpoenas sent in June to Bezos, the Seattle-primarily based company’s previous CEO, and Jassy. The get also sets a deadline of Jan. 20 for the completion of all testimony by Bezos, Jassy and 15 other senior executives, who also had been subpoenaed.
Jassy took in excess of the helm of the on the web retail and tech huge from Bezos, a single of the world’s richest people, in July 2021. Bezos turned executive chairman.
Amazon has not designed the situation that the subpoenas “present undue burdens in terms of scope or timing,” FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson claimed in the purchase on behalf of the company. Even so, the FTC did agreed to modify some provisions of the subpoenas that it acknowledged appeared way too wide.
The FTC has been investigating because March 2021 the indicator-up and cancellation tactics of Amazon Prime, which has an estimated 200 million customers about the globe.
The firm said it was disappointed but not amazed that the FTC generally dominated in favor of its very own position, but it was delighted that the company “walked backed its broadest requests” in the subpoenas.
“Amazon has cooperated with the FTC all over the investigation and currently made tens of thousands of web pages of documents,” the enterprise stated in a assertion. “We are committed to engaging constructively with FTC personnel, but we continue being concerned that the newest requests are extremely wide and needlessly burdensome, and we will check out all our selections.”
In a petition to the FTC filed final thirty day period, the enterprise objected to the subpoenas to Bezos and Jassy, indicating the agency “has discovered no reputable rationale for needing their testimony when it can attain the exact data, and extra, from other witnesses and paperwork.” Amazon mentioned the FTC was hounding Bezos, Jassy and the other executives, calling the information demanded in the subpoenas “overly wide and burdensome.”
The investigation has widened to consist of at least 4 other Amazon-owned subscription applications: Audible, Amazon Audio, Kindle Endless and Subscribe & Help save, as well as an unidentified third-social gathering program not made available by Amazon. The regulators have questioned the enterprise to recognize the amount of individuals who were enrolled in the packages devoid of offering their consent, among other shopper info.
With an believed 150 million U.S. subscribers, Amazon Prime is a critical source of earnings, as perfectly as a prosperity of customer info, for the company, which operates an e-commerce empire and ventures in cloud computing, own “smart” tech and beyond. Amazon Key prices $139 a calendar year. The service included a coveted aspect this calendar year by getting exclusive video legal rights to the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football.”
Final year, Amazon asked unsuccessfully that FTC Chair Lina Khan stage aside from separate antitrust investigations into its business enterprise, contending that her community criticism of the company’s market place electric power in advance of she joined the authorities helps make it unattainable for her to be neutral. Khan was a intense critic of tech giants Facebook (now Meta), Google and Apple, as nicely as Amazon. She arrived on the antitrust scene in 2017, crafting an influential analyze titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” when she was a Yale law scholar.
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