American News Jul 1, 2021 11:21 AM EST

Bezos petitions to remove FTC chair from all Amazon-related investigations

Amazon asked the FTC to recuse chairwoman Lina Khan from all Amazon-related investigations saying Khan "has already made up her mind."

Bezos petitions to remove FTC chair from all Amazon-related investigations
Brendan Boucher Ottawa, ON
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Amazon sent a 25-page motion to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking that FTC chair Lina Khan be recused from all Amazon-related investigations due to her anti-Amazon comments in the past. Khan has previously said that Amazon is "guilty of antitrust violations and should be broken up."

Khan wrote a 2017 Yale Law Journal article entitled, "Amazon's Antitrust Paradox," in which she said, "We cannot cognize the potential harms to competition posed by Amazon's dominance."

She advocated for either "restoring traditional antitrust and competition policy principles or applying common carrier obligations and duties." Amazon is using these previous statements of Khan's to claim that the FTC cannot be impartial if Khan hears, stating that she "has already made up her mind."

"At a minimum, this record creates the appearance that the FTC, under Chair Khan's leadership, would not be a neutral and impartial evaluator of the evidence developed in any antitrust investigation against Amazon or in deciding whether to bring enforcement actions against the company," the company said in the filing.

Amazon said in the filing that Ms. Khan should be recused from "at least all of the current antitrust investigations of Amazon of which the commission has notified Amazon." Amazon is being subject to an FTC inquiry as well as multiple investigations from state attorney generals.

"Amazon should be scrutinized along with all large organizations," Amazon spokesperson Jack Evans told CNBC. "However," he wrote in a statement, "even large companies have the right to an impartial investigation."

"Chair Khan's body of work and public statements demonstrate that she has prejudged the outcome of matters the FTC may examine during her term and, under established law, preclude her from participating in such matters."

Amazon has been the subject of antitrust investigations in recent years. The FTC is currently reviewing the Amazon's acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM). Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter to Khan calling for a "broad" and "meticulous" review of Amazon's acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM).

The EU also brought charges against Amazon this year for breaching antitrust laws by using third-party sellers' data for their own benefit. "Data on the activity of third-party sellers should not be used to the benefit of Amazon when it acts as a competitor to these sellers," Margrethe Vestager, the EU's competition chief, said in the statement.

The FTC declined to comment on the motion saying that petitions and motions to the FTC are not public.

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