Arizona Attorney General Sues Amazon for Deceptive Practices

Arizona Attorney General Sues Amazon for Deceptive Practices

Emilia Santos
2 min read

Arizona AG Files Lawsuits Against Amazon Over Alleged Unfair Practices and Antitrust Violations

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has taken legal action against Amazon, filing two lawsuits that accuse the tech giant of engaging in unfair and deceptive practices. The first lawsuit alleges that Amazon utilized design tricks to obstruct users from canceling their Prime subscriptions, echoing a similar complaint from the Federal Trade Commission. The second lawsuit targets Amazon's enforcement of agreements with third-party sellers, purportedly restricting them from offering lower prices off the platform. This alleged conduct is said to violate Arizona's Uniform State Antitrust Act.

Additionally, Arizona's antitrust suit focuses on Amazon's Buy Box algorithm, contending that it favors Amazon's retail offers or those from sellers participating in Fulfillment By Amazon, resulting in consumers overpaying. The state seeks to halt these practices and pursue civil penalties and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains from Amazon. In response, Amazon spokesperson Tim Doyle expressed surprise and disappointment, stating that the lawsuit would compel the company to partake in practices that are detrimental to consumers and businesses.

Key Takeaways

  • Arizona AG Kris Mayes sues Amazon for alleged deceptive practices and antitrust violations.
  • Amazon accused of using dark patterns to impede Prime subscription cancellations, mirroring the FTC lawsuit.
  • Lawsuits target Amazon's enforcement of "most favored nation" clauses, limiting third-party sellers' off-platform prices.
  • Arizona takes aim at Amazon's Buy Box algorithm for bias towards Amazon or Fulfillment By Amazon sellers.
  • Legal action seeks to halt Amazon's alleged deceptive and anticompetitive practices, pursuing civil penalties and disgorgement.


Arizona's legal challenges against Amazon, led by AG Kris Mayes, could potentially have significant repercussions for the e-commerce titan. The allegations of unfair and deceptive practices, including obstructing Prime subscription cancellations and enforcing "most favored nation" clauses, may result in substantial civil penalties and disgorgement, potentially impacting Amazon's financial performance and investor confidence. Moreover, the scrutiny of Amazon's Buy Box algorithm could disrupt its market dominance, presenting opportunities for competitors and third-party sellers. This legal action may also set a precedent for heightened tech regulation globally, prompting Amazon to reassess its business practices and algorithms to ensure compliance with antitrust laws and consumer protection regulations.

Did You Know?

  • Dark Patterns: These are deceptive user interface designs aimed at manipulating users into decisions they might not otherwise make, as in the case of Amazon allegedly obstructing Prime subscription cancellations.
  • Most Favored Nation (MFN) Clauses: These contractual provisions ensure that a seller extends their best offer to a specific buyer, often leading to price parity across various sales channels. Amazon is accused of enforcing MFN clauses that limit third-party sellers from offering lower prices off the platform, potentially violating Arizona's Uniform State Antitrust Act.
  • Amazon's Buy Box Algorithm: This algorithm determines the featured seller on Amazon's product pages, giving precedence to Amazon's retail offers or those from sellers participating in Fulfillment By Amazon. Arizona contends that this preference leads to consumer overpayment and breaches antitrust laws.

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