HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut is joining a multistate lawsuit against Amazon that accuses it of illegally maintaining a monopoly, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced on Tuesday.
“This will be a huge fight,” Tong said during a press conference announcing the move.
The retail giant “uses a set of interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies to illegally maintain its monopoly power,” according to an announcement.
“For all of us, technology has changed our lives and enabled us to do things never possible a generation ago,” Tong said in a written version of the announcement. “But as Big Tech grows in its influence and dominance over our lives, we can’t lose sight of the impacts on families and small businesses—and we cannot be afraid to enforce our laws and protect competition and fair markets. That’s why Connecticut is suing Amazon today. For hundreds of thousands of small businesses around the country, selling on Amazon is a constant fight to keep yourself ahead while Amazon stacks the deck in its own favor with ever-increasing fees, commissions, and other charges, all designed to perpetuate its monopoly power. Like a casino, no matter what sellers do, the house—Amazon—always wins.”
That monopoly then allows Amazon to stomp out rivals and prevent them from lowering prices, all while lowering quality for shoppers, according to Tong.
The Federal Trade Commission, along with the 17 states on the lawsuit, are asking for a permanent injunction in federal court that would prevent Amazon from continuing the alleged illegal activity.
Tong said that Amazon’s strategy is twofold. The first is anti-discounting measures punish sellers from offering a lower prize than Amazon, which keeps prices high for everyone. The second is making it costly for a seller to get Prime eligibility for their goods.
News 8 has reached out to Amazon for comment.