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Amazon Faces A £900m Class Action Lawsuit In UK

01 Amazon Logo box DG AH 2021
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A new class action lawsuit was filed against Amazon in UK that might make the company pay £900m ($997m) to settle the case. The Competition Appeal Tribunal lawsuit filed this lawsuit, arguing that Amazon pushes customers to pay more for products.

On September 19, we reported that California was suing Amazon over its antitrust behaviors and dictating prices to sellers and buyers. The new lawsuit is identical to the case in California, but it focuses on the “Buy Box” feature. This promotes certain items at the top of the search list. Such behaviors can push customers to pay for more expensive products. The lawsuit covers all those who live in the UK and have purchased from Amazon since October 2016.

According to Julie Hunter, a consumer advocate and class representative, Amazon “uses tricks of design to manipulate consumer choice and direct customers towards the featured offer in its Buy Box.”

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Amazon directs customers toward more expensive products

The lawsuit claims that Amazon hides cheaper items and better delivery options from customers. Instead, it promotes preferential items to customers to make them pay higher fees. This could be an antitrust violation.

“Far from being a recommendation based on price or quality, the Buy Box favors products sold by Amazon itself or by retailers who pay Amazon for handling their logistics. Other sellers, however good their offers might be, are effectively shut out – relegated down-page, or hidden several clicks away in an obscure corner of Amazon’s website.” Julie Hunter noted.

It’s not yet clear how much Amazon has made through this way. Lawyer Lesley Hannah claims “millions of consumers have paid too much and been denied choice.” She also says Amazon doesn’t treat its customers fairly, which is against the competition laws.

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In response to the allegation, an Amazon representative said: “This claim is without merit, and we’re confident that will become clear through the legal process. Amazon has always focused on supporting the 85,000 businesses that sell their products on our UK store, and more than half of all physical product sales on our UK store are from independent selling partners.”