California’s attorney general sued Amazon.com Inc. on Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court because consumers are forced to pay prices that are artificially inflated by Amazon’s contracts violating the state’s antitrust and unfair competition laws. California has been investigating Amazon for more than two years. The complaint calls for a court order blocking Amazon from what California claims are anticompetitive contracts. “For years, California customers have paid more for their online purchases because of Amazon’s anticompetitive contracting policies,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement . Bonta argues the agreements Amazon has with merchants force them to price their products as favorably on Amazon as on their own website or any other website and “thwart the ability of other online retailers to compete.”
“The ‘everything store’ has effectively set a price floor, costing Californians more for just about everything,” he said.The suit against Amazon is the latest antitrust action against a tech giant. Washington, D.C., filed a similar lawsuit against Amazon in May 2021. Amazon won dismissal of it earlier this year. Amazon hopes the California suit will be also dismissed, Alex Haurek, an Amazon spokesman, said in a statement. At the same time, nationally, the Federal Trade Commission, led by Lina Khan, a critic of Amazon, is investigating whether Amazon has broken antitrust laws.