KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH-AM covering local news from Houston and across Texas.


Lawsuits Allege Amazon's Third-Party Policies Drive Up Online Prices

Amazon is facing multiple lawsuits claiming the e-commerce giant's market power drives online prices higher than they should be, violating anti-trust laws.

Two of the lawsuits center on Amazon's ability to penalize third party vendors who post lower prices elsewhere online. The third lawsuit centers on Amazon's partnership with Apple.

"Amazon has a huge ability to force prices from its third-party sellers to be in line with its own prices, which could then make it higher," says Hank Lewis, economics professor at Lone Star College.

But he says Amazon is not alone.

"People have said the same thing about Walmart for a very long time," says Lewis. "There's a lot of businesses out there that are under pressure to thin their profit margins to remain on the shelves in Walmart. That is premium shelf space."

Lewis says where there is smoke, there's likely fire.

"If they've (Amazon) their employees inappropriately at times. Issues surrounding bathroom breaks come to mind for example. It is possible Amazon could be doing similar things with its third-party sellers," he says.

"Regardless of anything an investigation is definitely warranted."

Amazon Prime delivery van on the street

Photo: Getty Images

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