Washington DC files antitrust suit against Amazon

The US capital's top lawyer is suing Amazon, alleging that the IT giant has used its monopoly power to prevent third-party vendors from offering competitive prices.

Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed the antitrust lawsuit in a local court on Tuesday.

Racine's office says, "Amazon fixed online retail prices through contract provisions and policies it previously and currently applies to third-party sellers on its platform."

The office also says the agreements stop sellers "offering their products at lower prices or on better terms on any other online platform, including their own websites."

Racine's office says Amazon claimed in 2019 to have removed that pricing policy. But it says Amazon replaced that with an effectively identical substitute and artificially inflated prices.

The office says it's seeking an end to the practice by Amazon, as well as damages and penalties.

Amazon has rejected the allegations, saying the relief Racine is seeking would force it to feature higher prices and would go against core objectives of antitrust law.

Last year, the US Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against fellow tech giant Google, while the Federal Trade Commission also moved against Facebook.